We encourage you to seek treatment today if you feel you may have a gum disease issue - your oral health directly affects your overall health. Call 718.878.4878 or fill out our contact form so we can get in touch.

Periodontal Problems: 8 Reasons Why You Should See a Periodontist (Now!)

Oral diseases affect nearly half of the world’s population. That’s 3.58 billion people who deal with bleeding gums and other oral health problems each day. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that a minor problem with their oral hygiene could lead to a bigger one. 

Don’t leave your teeth and gums at risk! By knowing how to recognize your periodontal problems, you can get the help you need before it’s too late. 

Keep reading to discover the eight reasons to see a periodontist today!

1. Loose Teeth

Periodontitis occurs as a result of poor dental hygiene. When you fail to brush and floss your teeth, you’re giving bacteria a chance to spread. Over time, that bacteria can build up against your teeth.

The bacteria will begin to multiply before forming dental plaque, which is a sticky substance that clings to the surface of your teeth. You can usually remove the plaque by brushing your teeth twice a day.

When you don’t brush, however, the plaque’s bacteria will begin depositing minerals known as tartar. Tartar is harder than plaque and usually requires a dentist’s help for removal. The longer you neglect your oral hygiene, the more likely bacteria will grow toward the roots of your teeth. 

Your body will then respond with its natural response to illness or injury: inflammation. While a little inflammation can fight off bacteria, prolonged inflammation causes pain.

Over time, the attachment between your gums and the root of a tooth becomes disturbed. As a result, a periodontal pocket or gap might form. This can cause your teeth to loosen. 

Does your smile look a little different when you look in the mirror? Periodontal disease will affect the bones holding your teeth in place. Your teeth will likely shift and even become loose.

Loose teeth usually indicate thinning bone or infections like periodontitis. If your teeth feel loose, visit your periodontist as soon as possible. You might think you’re only imagining that slight wiggle.

In any case, make sure to visit an exam to stay on the safe sign. Catching gum disease early can help you minimize potential bone damage. 

2. Receding Gums

Almost 50% of adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease. Despite how often gum disease occurs, many people don’t receive the treatment they need.

Take a proactive approach and check your teeth in the mirror. Are your gums started to recede away from your teeth? 

It’s normal for your gums to recede a little as you grow older. However, it shouldn’t seem too noticeable. If you recognize your gums are starting to shift away from your teeth, it could indicate periodontal disease.

When bone breaks down, your gums will begin separating from your teeth. That’s what causes your gums to recede. 

Make sure to schedule an appointment with your periodontist as soon as possible. The sooner you start treatment, the more likely you can protect your teeth. 

3. Pain and Discomfort

When we usually experience oral pain, it’s often connected to a single tooth. For example, you might have a cavity that requires treatment. If you start experiencing pain and discomfort throughout your entire jaw, however, it might indicate gum disease. 

Pay attention if you start noticing discomfort around, within, or under your gums. Your dentist can examine your teeth to determine the root of the problem.

Your dentist will likely suggest a deep cleaning, which is often the first line of treatment for gum disease. This treatment is completed under the gum line rather than above the gum line. Your dentist can also use scaling to scrape tartar above and below your gum line. 

Otherwise, they might use root planing to smooth out rough surfaces along the roots of your teeth. This process can help your gums reattach to your teeth.  

4. Bite Changes

Do you notice a difference with how your teeth line up when you chew, brush your teeth, talk, or sleep? A different bite pattern could indicate your teeth have shifted. Without proper treatment, bite changes can also lead to long-term issues. 

While you wait for your appointment, make sure to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth by:

  • Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Not smoking

You’ll also need to schedule regular cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup against your teeth. Otherwise, your dentist will need to treat any periodontal pockets that have formed to ensure they heal properly.

5. Red, Swollen, or Bloody Gums

Givingitis usually starts by affecting your gum line. You might recognize signs of inflammation if your gums appear red or swollen.

Do your gums bleed when your brush or floss? They’ll likely feel tender or painful when you brush, too. 

Make sure to let your dentist know if your gums start bleeding. 

6. Gum Abscess

Puss can sometimes develop on the gums, forming a gum abscess. Also known as a periodontal abscess, these can occur when an infection builds between your teeth and gums. 

Remember, bacteria buildup can lead to periodontal disease. It can also weaken your immune system. As a result, your body will likely have a difficult time fighting off future infections.

If you have a gum abscess, you’ll likely experience:

  • Loose teeth
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Fever
  • Pus discharge
  • Pain when chewing

Make sure to contact your dentist if you taste pus or feel pain and tenderness. They’ll use a dental X-ray to check for an infection. 

7. Sensitivity

You might also experience sensitivity when you consume hot or cold food or beverages. 

When your gums recede, you’re leaving the dentin exposes, which is the most sensitive part of your tooth. As a result, you could experience sensitivity when eating or drinking.

8. Bad Breath

Check your breath! The bacteria that are building against your teeth and release toxins that have a foul smell. If your breath starts to stink, it could indicate you have serious gum disease. 

Recognizing Periodontal Problems: 8 Signs It’s Time to See a Periodontist

Don’t wait until your next appointment. Instead, keep an eye out for these eight periodontal problems. If you experience these dental issues, call a periodontist as soon as possible for treatment. 

Worried about your gums? Request a free consultation today!

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

Read About Our Infection Control Procedures