Periodontal disease is a very common disorder in the adult population. In severe cases, periodontal disease may cause tooth loss, and scientific research states that it is the main cause of tooth loss above the age of 40. Periodontal disease affects the function and esthetics of the masticatory system. Treatment of periodontal disease is the basis for all treatments, because if the disease goes uncontrolled, all other treatments are doomed to failure. Most periodontal diseases are chronic conditions that involve no pain or discomfort, except for advanced cases. In recent years, a connection has been found between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
To understand what periodontal disease is, the healthy condition must first be explained.
The tooth roots are anchored in a socket in the jaw bone that is known as alveolar bone. There are fibers that connect the tooth to the bone. Above the bone is the pink, soft tissue known as gums or gingivae. Between the gums and tooth roots there is a gap called the gingival crevice. A normal crevice is up to 4 mm deep. Together, all the tissues surrounding the tooth (periodontal tissues) form the tooth’s retention mechanism.
How periodontal disease forms
Periodontal disease is a disease of the tissues surrounding and supporting the tooth. The main reason for the development of periodontal diseases is chronic bacterial infection. The main source of bacterial infection is the dental plaque. This is a fine, thin, colorless layer that constantly forms on the teeth because of food traces and bacteria. Another major source of periodontal disease is tartar, which is actually plaque that has remained a long time on the teeth, has not been properly cleaned away and has calcified. The bacterial infection, combined with the body’s inflammatory response, leads to destruction of the tooth retention mechanism and to deepening of the gingival crevice to form pockets, to an extreme state of complete tooth loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
A. Redness and swelling.
B. Bleeding to the touch, such as when brushing.
C. Bad breath.
D. Gingival mobility and recession
E. Formation of gaps between the teeth
Along with the fact that periodontal disease is an infectious disease, there are other factors that affect its onset.
A. The controllable risk factors of periodontal disease
1. Factors that allow food traces to accumulate, such as: caries (cavities in the teeth), faulty crowns and fillings, etc.
2. Controllable systemic diseases such as diabetes.
3. Stressful states and mental distress.
4. Use of drugs that affect the gingivae.
B. Uncontrollable risk factors for periodontal disease
2. Uncontrollable systemic diseases such as osteoporosis.
3. Pregnancy and hormonal changes.