How Do I Know if I Need a Periodontal Check-up?
The gums are the foundation of the teeth and are essential to a strong and healthy smile. If the health of the gums deteriorates, dental problems are likely to follow. Regular dental exams and cleanings promote gum health and are vital to diagnosing periodontal disease and other stages of gum disease. Sometimes people can benefit from a periodontal exam between their regular check-ups.
Dentists from The Smile Center in Virginia Beach, VA, offer a comprehensive range of preventive and restorative periodontal services. Here we discuss some top signs it is time to schedule a periodontal check-up to monitor gum health and determine if other treatments may be necessary.
The Gums Are Red or Swollen
Healthy gums should be bright pink. If the gums are darker red or the gum tissues appear swollen, it is a potential sign of infection. When bacteria get into oral tissues, they can become irritated and inflamed. Inflammation can cause changes in gum color and make the gums feel more tender to the touch. Swollen gums could also be more sensitive to hot and cold, so our Virginia Beach patients may experience discomfort when consuming foods or beverages that are extreme in temperature.
The Gums Bleed When Brushing or Flossing
Bleeding gums are another sign of periodontal problems. Bleeding may occur when inflammation is advanced. Swollen gums most often bleed during flossing. If periodontal disease has progressed to a later stage, bleeding may occur when a person is brushing or eating.
Bad Breath Is a Consistent Problem
The foods and beverages people consume directly affect their breath. However, if bad breath is consistent and does not respond to treatments like toothbrushing, mouthwash, or chewing gum, it is often a sign of an underlying problem. Chronic bad breath, known as halitosis, is frequently an early sign of gum disease and should be reported to a periodontal specialist.
The Gums Are Receding
As infection builds in the gums, tissues start to recede. Gum recession is not always immediately noticeable. As the recession progresses it becomes more obvious. The teeth may look longer, or there could be gaps between the base of the teeth and the gum line. These areas of space are called periodontal pockets. Gum recession should be addressed by a dentist as soon as possible because it exposes the roots of the teeth and increases the risk of root canal infection.
Teeth are Loose
Unfortunately, as periodontal pockets develop, they threaten tooth stability. If the teeth are loose, feel unstable when biting or speaking, or there are larger spaces between the teeth, it is likely the result of gum recession. Gum recession is a sign of moderate to advanced periodontal disease, so scheduling a periodontal check-up is vital.
Schedule a Check-up
If you are experiencing any of the abovementioned symptoms of gum disease or are past due for a dental exam, it is time for a periodontal check-up. To schedule an appointment at The Smile Center, send us a message online or call our Virginia Beach dental practice at (757) 473-8482.