A local periodontist is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing, treating and preventing gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone that supports the teeth. A local periodontist may also perform a dental implant procedure. If your local dentist or local family physician feel that you could benefit from seeing a local periodontist because of infection, bad breath or pain, they can refer you. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, seeing a local periodontist may be essential to your overall health. People with diabetes who have poor blood glucose management are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.