Dental hygiene is a particularly important part of life and helpful in preventing unnecessary physical and financial pain later. Brushing after every meal, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups are all great habits to adopt to make sure that you never have to be a victim of oral surgery; however, sometimes things go wrong and there comes time to see a specialist.
There are many signs to watch out for and it is important to find a great periodontist in Los Angeles, so be sure to contact Dr. Kao if you feel any of the symptoms below; but first, let’s define what a periodontist is and what they do.
What is a Periodontist?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, a periodontist is “a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants.” Essentially, they are specially trained oral physicians who specialize in gum disease and the structure of teeth and usually treat more problematic cases than general dentists. Because this is a specialized area, periodontists receive three additional years of training after dental school and attend meetings and seminars to be familiar with the latest techniques in their field.
What are the Signs?
Although any change to your gums or teeth should warrant at least a consultation with a periodontist, here is a list of some explicit things to look for that may be cause for a visit today:
- Gums being red, swollen, or bleeding. This is the most common first sign that there may be something wrong that requires treatment.
- Chronic bad breath. If you practice proper oral hygiene daily, and you are still experiencing chronic bad breath, chances are there is something wrong.
- Bad taste in mouth. Persistent sour or unpleasant tastes in your mouth could be an indicator that bacterial buildup has occurred, and your gums are under attack.
- Gum recession. This one may be a bit harder for those of us uneducated in the dental sciences to spot, but it is important nonetheless. Be aware of your gums natural state so you can see if your gum line is receding, which can cause infection due to the root of your tooth being increasingly exposed. Not to mention, it is very painful!
- Changes to your teeth. Be sure to look out for any gaps, shifting of your teeth, or loose teeth, as these all can be signs of gum disease.
- Pain. Whether you have pain while biting down or sensitivity to temperature shifts, one thing we all know is certain: any pain is never a good sign.
- Lifestyle. There are many things about your body or lifestyle that can affect your teeth and could make you more likely to have gum disease. Those who smoke or have smoked for some period of their life are more susceptible to gum disease. Also, having diabetes puts you at an increased risk because of the higher levels of sugar in your saliva that bacteria thrive on.
- Family history. There have been studies that show gum disease may be hereditary, so if you have a family history of gum disease, it would be prudent to book a visit with a periodontist before these symptoms become a problem. Dr. Kao is a respected periodontist in Los Angeles and is available to give you more information on the possibility of gum disease.
Being aware of any pain in your gums or teeth and keeping a watchful eye for any aesthetic changes in your mouth may help save you time, stress, and money in the long run. The American Academy of Periodontology also suggests seeing a periodontist before symptoms become a problem because “identifying symptoms of gum disease early is key to protecting your teeth and gums.” Letting gum disease continue to get worse will result in a much longer treatment and it is imperative to seek expert advice from a periodontist if you suspect anything may be wrong with your gums or teeth. If you have one or more of the signs listed above or suspect that something may be wrong, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kao, an expert periodontist in Los Angeles, by clicking here.