While your general dentist might be great when it comes to filling cavities and making sure your teeth are healthy, if you should develop gum disease, or periodontal disease, it's likely that they will refer you to a periodontist. Periodontists specialize in periodontics, a branch that focuses on the prevention and treatment of gum disease.
Gum disease is very common in the United States. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology confirms that 46 percent of people over the age of 30 in the U.S. have periodontitis (gum disease). While you can reduce your risk for gum disease by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and seeing your dentist, there might come a time when you need to schedule a visit with a periodontist and learn more about periodontics.