You may not be paying much attention to your dental health in your adulthood, but when signs are pointing to evident dental problems, you should look for the nearest dental clinic. You have more reasons to see a dentist or periodontist when signs point to gum problems. See, the American Dental Association estimates that over half of all Americans over the age of 30 have chronic periodontitis. 

Periodontists treat your teeth and the gums and bone structures that support your teeth. These are dentists with additional training beyond dental school.

Here are several indicators that you should see a periodontist right now.

Your Gums Bleed When Brushing

Gum bleeding is a common symptom of periodontal disease. Early-stage gingivitis is indicated by bleeding when flossing. However, if you have bleeding gums after brushing or unexplained bleeding after eating, you may have advanced periodontitis and should see a periodontist.

Your Gums Are Red, Swollen, and Tender

Inflammation is caused by the microorganisms that cause gingivitis, and inflamed gums can cause deep pockets around your teeth if left untreated. Swollen gums should not be disregarded since deep periodontal pockets increase the risk of tooth loss.

Gums that are inflamed may appear redder than pink and painful to the touch. Call a periodontist if you have swollen, painful gums or bleeding, sore gums.

You Have Bad Breath All the Time

You might not consider foul breath to be an indication of illness. However, if your foul breath persists despite regular oral hygiene, it could indicate a periodontal infection. Set up a dental appointment right away to know for sure if it’s a cause for concern.

Your Teeth Are Sensitive to Extreme Temperatures

Because of a receding gum line and exposed roots, advanced gum disease can cause greater tooth sensitivity. Eroding enamel can also induce temperature sensitivity in teeth, which is a potentially significant concern.

If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages, seek dental care to treat or prevent whatever is causing your teeth to react.

You Have Loose Teeth

As an adult, the remainder of your teeth should last forever after you’ve lost your baby teeth. But periodontitis causes pockets to form around the teeth, causing them to become loose. You can also sense your teeth shifting.

Make an appointment if you’re experiencing problems chewing, see a change in the way your teeth fit together, or notice new spaces between your teeth. Loose teeth are also an indication of bone loss, thus treatment should begin as soon as possible.

Your Gums Are Receding

It’s possible that your gums are receding, causing your teeth to appear longer. Gum recession is a sign of advanced periodontitis and can have serious consequences. Gum tissue loss surrounding the teeth might result in exposed roots or tooth loss.

Treatment for Periodontitis

Your periodontist will assess the progression of your gum disease and discuss your treatment options after your session. Gum grafts, bone grafting, scaling, and root planing are all possible treatments.

If severe periodontitis has caused gum recession and tissue loss, gum grafting may be required to restore dental health and look.

Advanced gum disease can cause bone loss and tooth loss in the worst-case scenario. A bone transplant can help to save existing teeth or build up enough bone to support a dental implant.

Scaling and root planing removes accumulated germs and plaque and smooths the tooth’s rough surfaces. This allows the gums to reattach to the teeth and eliminates rough spots where bacteria can collect.


Periodontal disease, often known as gum disease, worsens over time. Gingivitis is the first stage of infection, and it can evolve into more advanced periodontitis if left untreated.

Your oral health can be restored with a complete dental cleaning and proper brushing and flossing routines, but periodontitis requires more extensive periodontal therapy. Keep track of your oral health to determine when you should visit a dentist or periodontist.

If you need a dentist in Chattanooga, Shallowford Family Dental will assist you right away! We’ve practiced right here in Chattanooga for decades, and we are proud to serve our community with dedication and care. Our four dentists bring over 75 years of combined dental experience into one team. Schedule your dental appointment with us today!

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