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How Time-Sensitive are Periodontic Treatments?

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Sensitivity? Bleeding gums? Or maybe a tooth that feels like it’s wiggling a little; when you have oral health concerns, how crucial is it that you visit your Toronto area periodontist?

When you are having signs or symptoms of oral health issues, like the ones mentioned above, you must make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you are able. Delaying treatment will only worsen the situation, and in some cases, the disease may progress to the point where surgical measures are required to restore your oral health.

How Gum Disease Progresses

Stage One: Gingivitis

Gum disease doesn’t take its time; it can go from mild to moderate much faster than most people expect, making prompt treatment crucial. The key to ensuring that the damage done isn’t permanent is making an appointment with your Toronto area periodontist or dentist at the first sign of gum disease.

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and its symptoms can be so mild that many patients don’t even realize that their gums are in danger. You might notice a small build-up of plaque around the gumline and mild gum inflammation. Other signs you may be suffering from the beginning stages of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Swollen gums
  • Bad smelling and tasting breath
  • Receding gums

But this is why regular dental checkups are so important to your oral health; catching a periodontal disease in its earliest stages means the condition can be reversed with non-invasive measures and your gums fully restored.

Stage two: Early Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis left untreated will continue to progress, eventually leading to early-stage periodontal disease. This is when the damage done to your gums becomes more pronounced, symptoms more severe, and treatments more involved.

At this stage, the plaque that has collected around the gumline will harden into a much more difficult to clean tartar. Small pockets will form between the tooth and gums, accelerating the accumulation of bacteria and tartar. Left untreated, early-stage periodontal disease may begin to affect the bone structure that supports your teeth, leading to looseness and eventually even tooth loss.

In addition to the symptoms previously described, signs of early periodontal disease include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitivity or painful chewing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Spaces forming in-between teeth

Some of the damage caused by periodontal disease might be irreversible. Still, your Toronto area periodontist can help prevent the situation from worsening with treatments that include a deep cleaning – known as scaling and root planing – in addition to improved oral hygiene habits at home and regular dental checkups.

Stage three: Moderate Periodontal Disease

The progression from mild to moderate periodontal disease is marked by an increase in the scale and severity of gum tissue damage. You will notice an increase in the severity of gum disease symptoms, and treatments may not be able to reverse all the damage, although they will help prevent further deterioration.

Your teeth may be at heightened risk of falling out or needing to be removed at this stage.

Stage four: Advanced Periodontal Disease

In its most advanced stage, the symptoms of gum disease – or advanced periodontitis – will be very noticeable and may have lasting effects on your bone structure and gums.

Bleeding from the gums will become more severe and more pronounced. The bone structure supporting your teeth will have deteriorated to the point where tooth loss is highly probable, and gums will have notably receded and separated from teeth.

At this advanced stage of periodontal disease, your Toronto area periodontist may recommend surgical treatments options, including:

  • Flap surgery
  • Tissue graphs
  • Bone grafting

Don’t let preventable oral health complications upturn your life; make regular dental visits a part of your routine and seek out treatment right away at the first signs of periodontal disease.