The art and science of examination, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the periodontium; a study of the supporting structures of the teeth, including not only the normal anatomy and physiology of these structures but also the deviations from normal. Periodontists are also expert in the placement and maintenance of dental implants.

The word “periodontal” literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss. The main cause of periodontal disease is a bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on teeth.