Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, also known as « gum disease » or loosening of the teeth, is bacterial infection which destroys tissues surrounding the tooth.

Gum and healthy bone
The gum is swollen and bleeds

There are two types of periodontal disease : :

  • gingivitis: inflammation of the gums which causes bleeding.
  • periodontitis, a serious progression of gingivitis, where the tissues anchoring the tooth (bone cement, ligament) are attacked.

In most cases of periodontitis, plaque is present beneath the gum, which worsens inflammation. Eliminating this plaque requires root planing

Parondontite Débutante
Parodontite moyenne
Parodontite sévère

Periodontal disease may remain painless until it reaches an advanced stage. If left untreated, it can lead to :

  • swollen and bleeding gums
  • loose teeth
  • loss of teeth
  • halitosis
  • and an unattractive smile

Periodontal disease is triggered by dental plaque, which contains bacteria. Proper brushing eliminates a whitish film, called plaque, which forms on your teeth. If this film is not eliminated, it accumulates and hardens into a crusty deposit called tarter. If this adheres to the roots of your teeth, it can be removed only with root planing.

If not removed, accumulated plaque will irritate the gums, leading to an infection which may ultimately destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

When tarter and plaque infiltrate under the gums and adhere to the roots, it forms a space called a periodontal «pocket». Tooth brushing cannot eliminate plaque bacteria in this pocket. The further the disease progresses, the bigger and deeper the pockets.

Periodontal disease is different depending on the individual patient and on various factors :

  • Some people are more or less sensitive to pathogenic bacteria because of the effectiveness of their defense mechanisms or the presence of pathologies such as diabetes or immune suppression…
  • Tobacco, of course, can also be an aggravating factor. Smoking often makes the disease more severe and harder to heal.
  • Stress can lower the body’s defenses against bacteria.
  • Anatomical features such as poorly positioned teeth or ill-fitting dental work can augment accumulation of plaque in these areas and accelerate loosening of teeth.

Signs of periodontal :

  • Bleeding gums during tooth brushing.
  • Puffy red or sensitive gums.
  • Loose teeth
  • Halitosis

A study by MILLER (1991) showed that 34% of the French suffered from moderate periodontitis and 10% from acute periodontitis.

A study by BOURGEOIS (2002 & 2003) showed that :

  • 20% of the French suffer from acute periodontitis.
  • 27% moderate periodontitis.
  • 49% slight periodontitis.
  • 4% only in good dental health.