A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases, the repair of cosmetic problems related to the gums and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation.
Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas by completing a residency that takes an additional three years to finish after four years of dental school. The specialty training is similar to a medical doctor’s residency training, where 100% of the dentist’s education is focused on his specialty. Periodontics is one of nine specialties in dentistry.
Your gums are the connection between your teeth and your body. Even subtle changes in the health of your gums can impact other areas in your body. A periodontist is an expert in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures and, when necessary, replacing teeth with dental implants.
Why Do I Need One?
Teeth occupy a unique place in your body. While most of the bones in your body are completely covered with skin, the teeth are the only bones that protrude through the skin (your gums). This gives bacteria an entry way into your body. The interface between the tooth and gums is called periodontal (“around the tooth”) tissue. It is a dark, moist environment where approximately 700 different kinds of bacteria live. These bacteria are parasites and want to get in between the tooth and gum. When they do, an infection results. The infection is called periodontal disease. Once the bacteria get in to the space between your tooth and gum, they invade and live in the gum tissue and get in to the bloodstream. This continuous exposure to mouth bacteria in your blood stream creates many problems that can shorten your life. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, oral cancer, respiratory infections, premature birth, still birth and many other health problems are made worse by untreated periodontal disease.