When to See a Periodontist

Periodontal treatment may be sought in several ways. Your general dentist or a hygienist may recommend a consultation with a periodontist if they find signs of periodontal disease through the course of a check up or other dental care appointment. You may also decide to see a periodontist on your own as a referral is not necessary. The earlier Periodontitis is diagnosed the better your chances are of avoiding unnecessary problems that could otherwise lead to tooth loss, and subsequent complicated dental needs.

In fact, if you experience any of these symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our office without delay:

  • Bleeding while brushing or eating normal foods. Unexplained bleeding while performing regular cleaning or consuming food is the most common sign of a periodontal infection.
  • Bad breath. Ongoing halitosis (bad breath), which continues despite rigorous oral cleaning, can point to periodontitis, gingivitis or the beginnings of a gum infection.
  • Loose teeth and gum recession. Longer-looking and loose-feeling teeth can indicate recession of the gums and/or bone loss as a result of periodontal disease.
  • Related health concerns. Patients with heart disease, diabetes, osteopenia or osteoporosis are often diagnosed with correlating periodontal infections. 

Dental Implants: In recent years it has become apparent that patients with a susceptibility to periodontitis also may be at greater risk of gum problems around dental implants. It is therefore critical that patients with periodontitis only have implants placed if their gums are healthy and well maintained. It is also important that the crowns and/or bridgework placed on the implants are properly shaped to allow optimal cleaning. We can work with your dentist to assist with appropriate delivery of treatment. 

If you have been told you may require dental implants and you are concerned about this, we are happy to assess your gums and provide an opinion. If you have pre-existing dental implants and are concerned about bleeding, swelling or pain around them you can also make an appointment to have this assessed. You could have peri-implantitis which is much like periodontal disease around implants. 

The following are common signs of peri-implantitis:

  • Bleeding or pus coming from around the implant while brushing or eating.
  • Swelling, pain or tenderness around your implants.

Please seek advice if you are concerned about these issues.