When to See a Periodontist

woman in dental scrubs standing with a patient in the background

Periodontal treatment may be sought for different reasons. 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 checkup or other dental care appointment. You may also decide to see a periodontist on your own as a referral is not necessary to be seen at our office.

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 is often a sign of periodontitis or gum infection. It may be also a sign of other medical problems.
  • Loose teeth and gum recession. Longer-looking and loose-feeling teeth can indicate a 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. The bacterial infection can spread through the bloodstream, affecting other areas of the body. It is the Mouth-Body connection.
  • If you are missing one or several teeth and would like to discuss dental implant tooth replacement
  • If you have been told you need one or several teeth to be extracted and would like to discuss your options BEFORE it is too lateā€¦ because it might not be too late.
  • If you have been told that “you don’t have enough bone” to place any dental implant, we probably still have some options for you

digital illustration of plaque being removed

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer but there are multiple other pathologies. Sometimes, the first clinical sign of systemic disease will show on your gums. The following are common signs of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
  • Some itching, tingling sensation of your gums
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.

These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer. We recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly.

Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.

For more information about visiting a periodontist or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gallez, call our San Jose office at   Fabrice J. Gallez, DDS, MS, San Jose Phone Number 408-356-9366, or our Morgan Hill office at   Fabrice J. Gallez, DDS, MS, Morgan Hill Phone Number 408-779-8686.

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