The Difference Between Periodontists and Endodontists

The Difference Between Periodontists and Endodontists Photo

Periodontist vs. Endodontist: Which Do You Need to Visit?

If you maintain good oral health and visit your dentist frequently, chances are you may never need to visit a dental specialist. However, hereditary conditions and lifestyle habits can still affect the health of your teeth and gums. When this happens, it’s important to know where to go to seek care.

What is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dental specialist that treats your tooth's root, pulp, and any related pain. They still have the same skills as a dentist but have undergone additional specialized training.

Here are some signs that you should be referred to an endodontist:

  • Tooth pain.
  • You injured your tooth.
  • Your tooth is sensitive to hot or cold.
  • There is swelling around the teeth, gums, or your face.

Issues with your tooth’s root or pulp may result from a cavity that is left untreated or other dental conditions. Before heading to an endodontist, you should visit your dentist for a check-up so they can evaluate your pain and refer you to a specialist who can help.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the detection, treatment, and prevention of gum disease. Caring for your gums is a great way to prevent damage to your tooth’s root, as your gums protect your tooth root from loosening or being exposed. If you do develop gum issues that turn into an endodontic treatment, you may need to see both specialists.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease affects millions of Americans every year. Most often caused by plaque and tartar build-up, periodontal disease is progressive and is split into two major stages known as:


In its first and milder phase, gingivitis only affects the gums and is generally indicated by swelling, inflammation, or bleeding red gums during brushing or flossing your teeth. Luckily, if treated early enough, this earlier stage of gum disease can be reversed.


This more destructive phase of periodontal disease can jeopardize your gum health and even your jawbone structure. When the accumulation of bacteria along the base of your gum line occurs, your immune system responds by tackling the build-up, slowly but surely eating away any gum tissue or bone in its pathway.

The more gum tissue and bone structure that is lost, the greater the complications, which can include:

  • Tooth loss 
  • Infected abscesses 
  • Serious health problems such as heart disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues

As with visiting an endodontist, you should first visit your dentist for a check-up so they can evaluate your pain and refer you to a specialist who can help.

Periodontist in Tigard, OR

Dr. Thanik will look at your teeth, plaque level, gums, and other risk factors for periodontal disease at your appointments. If treatment is needed, he’ll go over your options with you so that we can keep your smile healthy and bright.

Our periodontal services include:

Every member of our competent team at Progressive Periodontics is committed to helping and treating every one of our patients with tooth loss prevention and improvement of their overall oral health. Whatever level of periodontal disease you find yourself dealing with, our compassionate and professional staff will work tirelessly to aid in repairing your gums and supporting tissues and bone structure.

Contact our team today for a consultation: (503) 966-3780

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