So you might be asking yourself, “What is a periodontist, and why the heck would I need to visit them versus a regular dentist?”
The first thing you would need to think about is a little guy called gum disease.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can cause severe harm to the gums and the bones that support the teeth. When it is in the advanced stages, it can actually cause very serious health issues such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Sadly enough, more than 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease or periodontal disease and don’t even know it.
So, as you can see, it may be pretty important to visit a periodontist. Here are six more reasons why you might need to see a periodontist.
It will save you some money
Even though it is very possible to treat advanced gum disease with the help of a professional, the more treatments you have to do, the more expensive it will get.
When you go to a periodontist to check on your gums and their health before you start having problems, it’s more likely that you will catch anything that needs attention early on. Your teeth and bank account will thank you for it.
It will save you some pain
Gum disease happens when bacteria starts to gather at the gum line where your gums meet your teeth, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
Usually, in the beginning stages of this, there is no pain or discomfort, but as bacteria multiply, it can cause the gums to recede from the teeth and create space or pockets, exposing more of the tooth. This leaves the teeth more exposed to plaque and other harmful things.
Once the teeth become more exposed, more tooth pain can occur. Your gums can also become red and swollen and bleed really easily. This means doing every day normal tasks such as eating can become painful, which is something that no one wants.
You are a smoker or were a smoker
If you used to smoke or are currently a smoker, it’s probably a good idea to make an appointment with your local periodontist.
Because smoking can impair circulation in the mouth, oxygen may be prevented from getting to the gums.
That means the gums and teeth don’t get some of the important nutrients they need to stay healthy, which leaves them more susceptible to gum disease.
You have Diabetes
Just like someone who smoked or used to smoke, those with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease.
This is because the bacteria that cause gum disease thrive on sugar, and those who have diabetes tend to have high levels of sugar present in their saliva.
You are over the age of 30
If you have never seen a periodontist, it is a good idea to go ahead and make an appointment to see one by the time you reach 30 years old.
This is because half of all adults 30 years and older have some form of gum disease, according to the Center for Disease Control.
You are in pain
Pain is never a good sign, and if the pain you are experiencing is coming from your gums or teeth, it definitely might be time to visit a periodontist.
If you feel like your teeth are beginning to feel loose, are really sensitive, and your gums bleed more than usual, make an appointment with a periodontist to determine if you have gum disease and to treat it effectively.
Gum disease can get pretty serious pretty quickly, so contact your local periodontist to save yourself, and your mouth, from some serious health problems.
If you don’t know who to contact, call your dentist to refer you to a periodontist or search the web for one in your area.