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Periodontal disease is a disease that affects the system that anchors the teeth in the jaws. It is the main cause of tooth loss in elderly people. The disease is primarily a result of chronic bacterial infection, but there are also genetic characteristics.
There are several different types of periodontal disease, divided by characteristics and disease spread.
Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is a relatively mild form of periodontal disease, characterized by localized bleeding, swelling and redness.
Chronic periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a more advanced form in which there is also damage to the system anchoring the tooth, i.e. bone resorption and loss.
Periodontitis always begins with gingivitis, but not vice versa. Because we have no way of predicting the progression of the condition, the mildest case of gingivitis must be treated too.
Treating periodontal disease requires removal of the infectious agent, so most of the treatment is based on cleaning of the teeth by the dental hygienist and/or periodontist. Because it is a chronic disease, we wish to sustain the results of the treatment for a long time and it is necessary to change oral hygiene habits. The dental hygienist will instruct the patient on how to clean his teeth effectively. In cases in which periodontal disease progresses, surgical treatments are necessary too.