If you have gum disease, you don't need a regular dentist — you need to see a periodontist, an expert who specializes in treating the gums and the bones surrounding your teeth.

Periodontists are experts in periodontics, the study of conditions that affect the structures around your teeth. So a simple cavity doesn't require a visit to the periodontist, but gum inflammation or the need for a dental implant would warrant a trip to this dental specialist. The word periodontist comes from periodontal, literally "around the tooth," from the Greek roots peri-, "around," and odontos, "tooth."

Definitions of periodontist
  1. noun
    a dentist specializing in diseases of the gums and other structure surrounding the teeth
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    type of:
    dental practitioner, dentist, tooth doctor
    a person qualified to practice dentistry
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