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Talking to Your Dentist About Periodontal Disease
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- What symptoms might suggest that I have periodontal disease?
- Do you always check for periodontal disease at my regular dental check-ups?
- What methods do you use to monitor me for the development of periodontal disease?
- What type of toothbrush do you suggest I use?
- Do you recommend a particular type of toothpaste?
- What should I use to clean between my teeth?
- Should I use a fluoride mouth rinse?
- How frequently should I undergo cleanings and check-ups?
- How likely am I to develop periodontal disease?
- Are there times in my life when I am at higher risk?
- During higher risk periods, should I take any special precautions?
- I’d like to get pregnant. What kinds of things should I know about periodontal disease and pregnancy?
- If I get pregnant, what risks does periodontal disease pose to my baby?
- Do you recommend that I see a periodontist?
- Would antibiotic treatment help?
- Should I take antibiotics by mouth, or use one of the methods that apply the antibiotic close to the area of periodontal disease?
- Is my periodontal disease severe enough that I need to undergo scaling and root planing?
- Might I need a surgical procedure?
- Should I stop smoking?
- Can you help provide me with information about programs or devices that might help me stop smoking?
- Can you help me learn how to eat nutritiously?
- Should I change my tooth brushing and flossing regimen?
- Could you or your dental hygienist watch me brush and floss, and teach me the most effective techniques?
- If I have periodontal disease, how can I stop its development?
- Will I lose any of my teeth?
- Could I have any other complications from periodontal disease?
- What’s the latest information about the possible connection between periodontal disease and other major illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke?
Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Updated May 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease. Updated December 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org. Updated March 2005. Accessed April 23, 2009.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013