Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these structures and tissues. Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease, it is a bacterial infection of the gums, bone and periodontal ligaments. Almost half of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. If you have been told that you have periodontal disease there is good news, this disease often can be treated successfully. The disease is usually painless and silent, until it reaches advanced stages. That is why it is important to seek treatment. Once you start seeing a periodontist you will increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth and decrease the risk of possible health problems associated with periodontal disease.