If you are like many patients, you may refer to a visit to virtually any type of dental professional as a “trip to the dentist.” In truth, terms like periodontist, orthodontist and prosthodontist all refer to professionals who are trained in specific areas of oral care, and they are not, in fact, interchangeable.

A periodontist is a highly trained dentist who specializes in preventing, identifying and treating gum disease, particularly in cases where the disease is particularly advanced or severe. In addition to undergoing a regular dental school education, periodontists typically receive three additional years of comprehensive training, giving them the tools and the skillset they need to effectively treat a broad range of gum-related issues. In addition to providing comprehensive periodontal care, periodontists often specialize in the placement of dental implants and related cosmetic treatments and procedures.

When to See a Periodontist

Like many medical issues, early intervention is key when it comes to successfully treating your gum problems. While a general dentist may refer you to a periodontist, you should also consider seeking treatment if you:

·         Have sore, red or bleeding gums, especially while brushing or flossing

·         Experience pain or sensitivity when consuming particularly hot or cold foods or drinks

·         Have a family history of gum disease

·         Have bad breath (halitosis)

·         Have noticed your gums starting to recede

·         Smoke or have diabetes

Even in cases where periodontal disease has progressed, treatment options are available. For your best shot at minimally invasive treatment methods, however, it is wise to schedule an appointment as soon as you start to suspect a problem.

You Do Not Have to Live With Shame

Whether you suspect that you have periodontal disease and want to have those suspicions confirmed, or you are already aware of the problem and want to speak to an experienced periodontist about your treatment options, Dr. Leo A. Tokarczyk, D.D.S., P.C., can help. Call your periodontist in Marshfield, MO, today at 417-882-2880 to schedule an appointment