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Why Treating Periodontal Disease Needs a Periodontist in Toronto

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Periodontal disease is one of Canada’s largest and most significant threats to oral health, affecting up to 40% of the population at some point during their lives. Periodontal diseases result from bacterial buildup in the mouth, which can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums and bone that supports teeth. In the most advanced stages, periodontal disease can cause the gums to pull away from teeth and the bone structure to deteriorate to the point where teeth become loose and, eventually, fall out.

The key to avoiding the worse effects of periodontal disease is seeking prompt treatment at the first signs of infection. However, did you know that your dentist may not be the best practitioner to oversee your treatment?

Why a Periodontist in Toronto Should Treat Periodontal Disease

A periodontist is a dental professional who specializes in periodontal disease and treatment. Unlike a general dentist, a periodontist receives three years of additional training focused on tooth and gum health. Moreover, since periodontists work day in and day out treating patients with various forms of gum disease, they generally have more up-to-date knowledge of current treatments and techniques.

How Periodontal Disease Progresses

The first signs of gum infection can be difficult to spot. However, knowing what symptoms to be on the lookout for can help you address gum disease early while it is easier to treat. There are four stages of periodontal disease ranging from mild to advanced.

  • Gingivitis

    The earliest and most common form of gum disease is gingivitis. Here, the plaque has begun to harden around the gumline but has yet to attack bone structure. At this stage, the effects are still reversible.

  • Slight periodontal disease

    Plaque buildup has now reached under the gums, collecting in small pockets, and causing damage to the tooth root and surrounding bone.

  • Moderate periodontal disease

    Periodontal pockets have grown deeper, causing more damage to bone structure and enabling bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

  • Advanced periodontal disease

    By the final stage of periodontal disease, the bacterial infection has led to substantial bone deterioration, gum recession, and potential tooth loss.

How a Periodontist Treats Gum Disease

Treatment for periodontal disease will depend on the severity of your condition. After evaluating the progression of the periodontal disease, your Toronto area periodontist may recommend the following:

  • Dental scaling and root planning

    Dental scaling is a non-surgical, deep-cleaning procedure used to remove plaque and tartar buildup beneath the gum line. Once the plaque has been cleaned away, a periodontist will smooth out the tooth’s root with planing, encouraging the gums to reattach to the tooth and making it more difficult for plaque and tartar to adhere to the tooth in the future.

  • Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery)

    More advanced stages of periodontal disease may require surgical intervention. During flap surgery, an incision is made to lift the gums away from the tooth, enabling the periodontist to remove the tartar buildup from the tooth and the surface of the supporting bone. Once the bacteria has been cleaned, the gums are placed snuggly back around the tooth.

  • Bone grafts

    In the most severe cases of periodontal disease, bone grafting may be used to replace bone that has been damaged or destroyed. Using fragments of either the patient’s own bone or synthetic or donated material, a periodontist will surgically fuse the new bone over existing bone encouraging regrowth.

While periodontal procedures vary in complexity, it is always best to leave the treatments to dental professionals specializing in the field. If you are suffering from any form of gum disease, you should visit your local Toronto area periodontist.