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Clinical Overview
Periodontal Disease

Clinical Overview


Reviewed by: Dr. Kristen Dority

All diseases of the gums, teeth and underlying bone. Also a major cause of tooth loss. The group of inflammatory and infectious diseases affecting the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth is known as periodontal disease. Common types of periodontal disease, gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that left untreated can result in tooth loss. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal refers to the area around the tooth. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. When bacteria from plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, gingivitis where gums become red and inflamed results. If left untreated and inflammation continues for a long period, early periodontitis can develop. Eventually the gums will pull away from the teeth and form deep pockets or gum crevices. These become filled with bacterial plaque and bone is lost. Infections at this stage are usually painless although puss may be present. As periodontitis progresses bone loss can result in loose teeth. Abscesses in gum tissue can also occur. Poor hygiene and smoking exacerbate periodontal disease and being diabetic is another risk factor. It is very important to keep blood sugar levels under control.

Last updated: May-03-07

 
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