Periodontitis, often called medicaly incorrectly periodontosis is a n inflammatory affection of the periodontium. In contrast to this, periodontosis is not inflammatory. Periodontitis can occur at any age, numerous or just single teeth, and with varying progression and severity. This affection is caused by bacteria which is located in the dental spaces. If these plaques are not removed thoroughly and regularly, they can petrify into hard stains, called calculus. Aggravating factors such as stress, smoking or other affections to the body can promote an acute infection. The gums become reddened and swollen and is more likely to bleed. The problem is: Once the bleedings occur one is prone to exclude the respective area during dental hygiene due to pain. This behaviour only aggravates the infection as it expands into deeper areas of the tooth causing the formation of gingival crevices. Once these occur they cannot be removed through average cleansing techniques and the infection continues to spread. The deep rooted gingival crevices help the bacteria to procreate, triggering a number of reactions. One is the formation of enzymes by the immune system in order to eliminate the bacteria. But these enzymes do not only attack the bacteria but the entire periodontium. In an advanced stadium the tooth might lack firmness within the gingival crevice, becomes loose and will eventually come off.
Periodntitis is more than just an affection of the oral cavity. It is a risk to the body on the whole as it can facilitate systemic affections. There have been numerous studies to show the correlation between bad dental hygiene and systemic affections. It is the general consensus among experts that untreated periodontal affections can lead to severe systemic diseases and that they increase the risk of heart diseases, strokes and angiopathies. Periodontitis should also be prevented in cases of prior diseases such as diabetes, rheumatic arthritis or pregnancy.
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