What is a Periodontist and How Can One Help Me?

As you may already know, we are super excited to welcome Dr. Jennifer Shango to the practice as our new on-site periodontist! With all this perio on the brain, we thought this would be a good opportunity to talk more about exactly what a periodontist is and what one can do for you!

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who has trained extensively in periodontics, the specialized field of dentistry dealing with the supporting tissues of your teeth - i.e. the gum and bone. A periodontist will undergo advanced training in these areas after dental school, typically in the form of a 3 year residency.

What procedures does a periodontist perform?

The crux of a periodontist’s practice lies in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. In addition to gum grafting and periodontal therapy, periodontists can perform complex extractions, sinus lifts, implant placement and more.

When do I need to see a periodontist?

Signs that you should get yourself to a periodontist (or at LEAST a general dentist!) include:

  • Teeth are feeling loose/bite feels different - this is a very good indication that you may be dealing with serious gum disease or bone loss!
  • Bleeding, swollen or receding gums - healthy tissues don’t bleed!
  • Pain and sensitivity - pain in the mouth is not normal and should be assessed by a general dentist immediately
  • Bad breath - chronic bad breath and/or a sour taste in the mouth can indicate a buildup of harmful bacteria that leads to periodontal disease
  • Systemic health conditions - conditions like heart disease and diabetes are strongly linked to oral health, and can greatly increase your risk for periodontal disease

If you are ever unclear on what’s going on with your oral health or who you need to see, your general dentist is the place to start. They can help you identify any problems and point you in the right direction!