Follow your dentist's recommended schedule for regular checkups. If you notice any symptoms of periodontitis, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your dentist.
What you can do
Prepare a list of questions to ask your dentist, such as:
- What's likely causing my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests, if any, do I need?
- What's the best course of action?
- Will my dental insurance cover the treatments you're recommending?
- What are the alternatives to the approach you're suggesting?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- What steps can I take at home to keep my gums and teeth healthy?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
- What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your dentist
Your dentist may ask you questions about your symptoms, such as:
- When did you first start experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How often do you brush your teeth?
- Do you use dental floss? How often?
- Do you see a dentist regularly?
- What medical conditions do you have?
- What medications do you take?
- Do you use tobacco products?
Depending on the extent of your periodontitis, your dentist may refer you to a specialist in the treatment of periodontal disease (periodontist).
Feb. 04, 2014
- Periodontitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/periodontal_disorders/periodontitis.html. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms and treatments. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Wilder RS, et al. Gingivitis and periodontitis in adults: Classification and dental treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Types of gum disease. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Gum disease risk factor. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/risk-factors. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Periodontal pocket reduction procedures. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/pocket-reduction-procedures.htm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Gum graft surgery. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/grafts.htm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Esposito M, et al. Enamel matrix derivative (Emdogain) for periodontal tissue regeneration in intrabony defects. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003875.pub3/abstract. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Brushing your teeth. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Flossing. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Kawar N, et al. Periodontal disease for the primary care physician. Disease-a-Month. 2011;57:174.
- Gingivitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/periodontal_disorders/gingivitis.html. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2013.
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