Learn About Our COVID Safety Information: Watch Video
Close This (X)
COVID SAFETY: Watch Video

When to See a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infections and diseases in the soft tissues surrounding the teeth, and the jawbone to which the teeth are anchored. Periodontists have to train an additional three years beyond the four years of regular dental school and are familiar with the most advanced techniques necessary to treat periodontal disease and place dental implants. Periodontists also perform a vast range of cosmetic procedures to enhance the smile to its fullest extent.

When to see a Periodontist? Atlanta & Suwanee, Georgia

Periodontal disease begins when the toxins found in plaque start to attack the soft or gingival tissue surrounding the teeth. This bacterium embeds itself in the gum and rapidly breeds, causing a bacterial infection. As the infection progresses, it starts to burrow deeper into the tissue causing inflammation or irritation between the teeth and gums. The response of the body is to destroy the infected tissue, which is why the gums appear to recede. The resulting pockets between the teeth deepen, and if no treatment is sought, the tissue which makes up the jawbone also recedes, causing unstable teeth and tooth loss.

Referrals from General Dentists and Self Referral

There are several ways treatment from a periodontist may be sought. In the course of a regular dental checkup, if the general dentist or hygienist finds symptoms of gingivitis or rapidly progressing periodontal disease, a consultation with a periodontist may be recommended. However, a referral is not necessary for a periodontal consultation.

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, it is important that you schedule an appointment with a periodontist without delay:

  • Bleeding while eating or brushing – Unexplained bleeding while consuming food or during the course of daily cleaning is one of the most common signs of periodontal infection.
  • Bad breath – Continued halitosis (bad breath) which persists even when a rigorous oral hygiene program is in place, can be indicative of periodontitis, gingivitis or the beginnings of an infection in the gum tissues.
  • Loose teeth and gum recession – Longer looking teeth can signal recession of the gums and bone loss due to periodontal disease. As this disease progresses and attacks the jawbone, (the anchor holding the teeth in place) the teeth may become loose or be lost altogether.
  • Gangrene in the tissues – Gangrene is hard to self diagnose but the general dentist and periodontist will check for its presence in the soft tissues, alveolar bone and periodontal ligament.
  • Related health conditions – Heart disease, diabetes, osteopenia and osteoporosis are highly correlated with periodontitis and periodontal infections. The bacteria infection can spread through the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Before initiating any dental treatment, the periodontist must extensively examine the gums, jawbone, and general condition of the teeth. When gingivitis or periodontal disease is officially diagnosed, the periodontist has a number of surgical and non surgical options available to treat the underlying infection, halt the recession of the soft tissue, and restructure or replace teeth which may be missing.

  • Gingivitis/mild periodontal disease – When the gum pockets exceed 4mm in depth, the periodontist or hygienist may perform scaling and root planing to remove debris from the pockets and allow them to heal. Education and advice will be provided on an effective cleaning regime thereafter.
  • Moderate periodontal disease – If the gum pockets reach 4-6mm in length, a more extensive scaling and root planing cleaning might be required. This cleaning is usually performed under local anesthetic.
  • Advanced periodontal disease – Gum pockets in excess of 6-7mm are usually accompanied by bone loss and gum recession. Scaling and root planing will always be performed as the initial nonsurgical treatment. In addition, to tose nonsurgical treatments, the periodontist may recommend surgical treatment to reduce pocket depth.
  • Tooth loss – Where one or several teeth are missing due to periodontal disease, dental implants are an effective option. If the bone is strong enough to provide a suitable anchor for the prosthetic tooth, the implant can be placed. However, if the bone is severely eroded, bone grafts may be performed by the periodontist to provide a suitable anchor for the new tooth/teeth.
⟵   Back

See Real Patient Reviews
in Atlanta and Suwanee

Milestone Dentistry review from
Milestone Dentistry took over my Dentist of 30 years. I was pleasantly surprised by their efficiency and superior quality. Of course my Dentist, Dr. Robert Israel, would only choose the best.
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amber M.

Milestone Dentistry review from Amber M.
Where do I start!? Everyone is so nice and very thorough! You will not be disappointed! Ann Marie my hygienist is the best in Atlanta hands down!! Dr. Huynh was very gentle and answered all my questions! 😁
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Brandon K.

Milestone Dentistry review from Brandon K.
Definitely recommend milestone! I hate the dentist to the point of avoiding them, until I knocked my crown off the week of July 4th. Milestone got me in THE SAME DAY to put a temp crown on and it was perfect, and recently went to have the permanent put on and I am very pleased.
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Felicia M.

Milestone Dentistry review from Felicia M.
It seems unnatural to say that I enjoyed my time at the dentist...but it’s true. I left my last dentist’s office because the dentist himself was dismissive of some pain that I was having. I have to say that every step of the process, from intake to x rays to cleaning and finally to dental consultation was wonderful. The entire staff was friendly. The office was spacious and equipped beautifully. Ann Marie and Dr. Huynh were a dream team! And of course Mary at the front desk takes care of your appointments and your estimates with ease. I can’t recommend this place enough!
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Randolph F.

Milestone Dentistry review from Randolph F.
The entire Staff are professional, extremely courteous and highly competent individuals!!I would highly recommend this practice to every and anyone !!
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Cynthia B.

Milestone Dentistry review from Cynthia B.
I am TERRIFIED of the dentist. I was in need of work, as reluctant as I was,I walked into Milestone. I was greeted by Mary Ra. I explained my fear, she listened, she put me at ease..introduced me to my "new friends" as she puts it before I made my appointment.It really help relieve some of my anxiety. I love love this office! AnnMarie took her time, provided me with music and a warm blanket. Cleaning was quick and painless. I would love to give this office 5k stars.
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Danyale S.

Milestone Dentistry review from Danyale S.
The staff and Dentist were extremely informative and caring when I had to get my wisdom tooth removed. This was my first visit with Dr. Huynh and he answered every question and concern that I had with extreme understanding and care during the procedure and after.
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

M OI

Milestone Dentistry review from M OI
Great service! Very knowledgeable! Love that the organization caters to Special Needs young adults! Way to Go Team!
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ellie V.

Milestone Dentistry review from Ellie V.
I can't sing enough praises of Dr. Jeffrey Wakefield. This man has a gift, super knowledgeable and talented. I've had 2 oral surgeries in 2 months with him and both experiences have been phenomenal. Today was my first time ever being put to sleep for a procedure and I was a bit nervous at first but the staff did a great job of explaining everything and answering any questions. The staff is very friendly, and while professional, they can still cut and take jokes! Lol. Dr. Wakefield is a joker himself. The office is always clean and organized. You have free bottled water and a machine that grounds coffee beans for multiple coffee options in the lobby. I highly recommend this place.
review site ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Leave a Review
Dr. Freddie Wakefield Jr.
A standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality dental services our patients deserve.

Request an Appointment

If you prefer to speak to a team member, please call Atlanta or Suwanee.
Our Doctors New Patients Book Online