Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures pp 4284-4284 | Cite as
Periodontal Diseases cover a group of inflammatory diseases of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. They arise in the gum sulcus, the crevice between the gum and the tooth, as a response to dental plaque. If dental plaque remains in the sulcus, its bacteria and their waste products attack the crevicular epithelial cells. In order to eliminate the detrimental bacteria and their toxins the body activates its immune response to infection. This reaction passes through different stages. Due to these reactions, periodontal diseases are generally divided into two groups: gingivitis and periodontitis. Although the different forms of periodontal diseases are bacterial affections, a variety of important “risk factors” (e.g., smoking, poorly controlled diabetes, and inherited (genetic) susceptibility) affect the severity of the disease. Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.