Many adults have gingivitis or gum disease. Periodontists are dental professionals who specialize in treating and preventing gum disease. If you're experiencing signs of gum problems, scheduling an appointment to get a diagnosis and start treatment can prevent the issues from getting worse.
You Have Bad Breath
Bad breath can just be a sign that something about your oral hygiene routine needs to change. But it's also one of the first signs of gum disease.
If you're brushing and flossing at least twice a day and you can't seem to knock out the bad breath for good, it may be time to schedule an appointment to have your dentist take a look at your gums and refer you to a periodontist for treatment if necessary.
Your Teeth Are Suddenly Sensitive
Sensitive teeth can be a sign of several different dental problems, so it's best to schedule an appointment for an examination if you have any sensitivity that lasts more than a few days. As your teeth become more exposed, they may have the roots exposed, which can make them very sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Your Gums Are Red or Swollen
Gums that appear red and swollen instead of pink, smooth, and tight against the teeth are often the first sign of gum disease or gingivitis. Plaque buildup irritates the gums and can lead to a serious infection. Your gums may feel tender, but you also might not notice any difference in how they feel.
You might notice your gums start to bleed when you brush your teeth or floss. If you see a periodontist and begin treatment as soon as you notice a change in your gums, the condition will likely be completely reversible.
Your Gums Are Receding
In addition to taking on a red, inflamed appearance, gums affected by gum disease start receding from the teeth. If you notice your teeth looking longer or your gum tissue appears to be moving back it's important to get prompt treatment. Receding gums can expose the roots of your teeth, which greatly increases your risk of developing a serious oral infection.
You Have a Loose Tooth
Once gum disease has progressed, many patients start to notice loose teeth. Once a tooth is lost, your dentist might not be able to save it, so getting proper care as soon as you notice that a tooth feels loose is vital.
It's important to see your regular dentist at least twice a year to maintain your dental health. Schedule an appointment sooner if you notice any signs of gum problems so you can ask for a referral to a periodontist if necessary.