Dentists and Periodontists

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DENTIST AND A PERIODONTIST?

There are a number of dental specialists who work to ensure your mouth is healthy and beautiful – but what’s the difference between a dentist and a periodontist?

DENTISTS AND PERIODONTISTS?

The health of your mouth is important, and recent studies have shown it is intimately linked to the health of other areas of the body such as the heart. While getting dental care for yourself, or while researching the topic, you might have heard about dentists and periodontists. We all know what a dentist does, and many of us regularly visit them to keep our mouths healthy. But what about a periodontist?

Dentists look after a wide range of oral care issues with an emphasis on teeth and general care, while periodontists have a more specialized scope. Periodontists work with issues related to the gums, parts of the jaw, as well as dental implants.

Periodontist with a dental drill working on a patient's teeth

WHAT DOES A PERIODONTIST DO?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of medical conditions called periodontal diseases. The word “Periodontal” is derived from two Greek words – “peri” meaning “around” and “dontal” meaning “dental” or “related to the teeth”. So periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth, most notably the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone which is the part of the jaw that holds the teeth. Periodontal diseases typically begin as infections of the gums, but as they progress without treatment nearby tissue is affected leading to more serious outcomes. Periodontists ensure the prevention of these diseases, can spot them as they develop, and of course treat them at all stages of their development.

Asian woman holding a glass of water while feeling pain in her jaw.

WHEN SHOULD YOU VISIT A PERIODONTIST?

Most people know they should schedule regular visits with the dentist, but when do you know if you need to visit a periodontist? In many cases, our dentists will spot evidence of periodontal disease and refer us to a periodontist. But some people do not regularly visit the dentist, what are the signs to look out for? The most common signs that you should visit a periodontist are:

  • Change of bite: If you notice a change in your bite pattern, or your teeth feel different while you chew, you should schedule a visit with a periodontist.
  • Loose feeling teeth: Looser teeth is another one of the main signs that you should schedule a visit with a periodontist.
  • Receding gums: Receding gums are one of the telltale signs of periodontal disease and should be examined.
  • Pain and discomfort: If you are experiencing pain in your teeth and gums, you should schedule a visit with a periodontist right away.
  • Bleeding or swollen gums: Swollen or bleeding gums can be an indication that periodontal disease is progressing and should be examined.
  • If you have never visited a periodontist: One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have not visited a periodontist before, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or have never visited a periodontist before, you should schedule an appointment right away. Periodontal diseases have been linked to other serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease. Make sure to keep your gums and yourself healthy!

VISIT A PERIODONTIST

Don't wait until it is too late

If you believe you should visit a periodontist, book your appointment. Our dental and periodontal experts will help prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal disease.

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