A periodontist is a dentist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infections and diseases in the soft tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis are specialists among the dental profession and complete extensive training beyond dental school. During the additional training periodontitis become familiar with advanced techniques to treat periodontal disease and to replace missing teeth with dental implants. Periodontists also work with General Dentists, Orthodontists, Endodontists, Pedodontists, Oral Surgeons and Prosthodontists to perform a wide verity of cosmetic procedures.
Referrals from General Dentists and Self Referral
There are several ways treatment from a periodontist may be sought. In the course of a regular dental check up, if the general dentist or hygienist finds symptoms of gingivitis or rapidly progressing periodontal disease, referral to a periodontist may be recommended. However, a referral is not necessary for a periodontal consultation.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, it is important that you schedule an appointment with a periodontist without delay:
- Bleeding while eating or brushing – Unexplained bleeding while consuming food or during the course of daily cleaning is one of the most common signs of periodontal infection.
- Bad breath – Continued halitosis (bad breath), which persists even when a rigorous oral hygiene program is in place, can be indicative of periodontitis, gingivitis or the beginnings of an infection in the gum tissues.
- Loose teeth and gum recession – Longer looking teeth can signal recession of the gums and bone loss due to periodontal disease. As this disease progresses and attacks the bone (the foundation holding the teeth in place), the teeth may become loose or be lost.
- Related health conditions – Heart disease, diabetes, osteopenia and osteoporosis are highly correlated with periodontitis and periodontal infections. The bacterial infection can spread through the blood stream and affect other parts of the body.