When to See a Periodontist

If your dentist or a hygienist detects signs of periodontal disease during a cleaning or exam, they may recommend a consultation with a periodontist.

You do not need a referral to see a periodontist at our office. If you experience any of the following symptoms, we recommend scheduling an appointment with us right away as they often point to infection:

  • Unexplained bleeding while brushing or eating normal foods.
  • Ongoing halitosis (bad breath) that persists following oral cleaning
  • Loose teeth and gum recession.
  • Heart disease, diabetes, osteopenia, or osteoporosis. These are often diagnosed with correlating periodontal infections, as the bacteria may spread through the bloodstream to other vulnerable areas of the body.
  • Any of the following alterations to the smoothness or coral pink color of the inside of the mouth, as it could be a warning sign for a pathological process, including oral cancer:
    • Reddish patches (erythroplasia)
    • Whitish patches (leukoplakia)
    • A sore that won’t heal and bleeds easily
    • A bump or mass on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
    • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
    • Difficulty chewing or swallowing normal foods

These changes may be seen on the lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. These signs are not always painful and do not always indicate oral cancer, but we recommend contacting the office if they appear, in addition to performing a monthly oral cancer self-examination. The mouth is one of the body’s most telling warning systems, and suspicious areas should not be ignored.

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