Severe Periodontitis is a Global Threat

Dental issues and global public health threats are rarely seen as relevant. However, according to experts from the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) in a published paper entitled, “Global Burden of Periodontitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression”, severe periodontitis was actually the sixth most widespread health condition in the world in 2010. The OnlineFirst portion of the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research (JDR) published the manuscript, by lead researcher Wagner Marcenes (Queen Mary University of London, Institute of Dentistry, Barts and The London School).

The published research highlights the fact that severe periodontitis affected 743 million people across the globe in 2010. William Giannobile., the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Research, said, “The results of this first global assessment of periodontal diseases underscore the healthcare burden of this prevalent oral disease on a major portion of the world’s population”. As more and more information becomes readily available to dental professionals throughout the world, it has become abundantly clear that something must be done to prevent the onset of periodontitis.

Most often caused by bacteria that lives in dental plaque, periodontitis typically starts as gingivitis. In order to fight the bacterial infection that is caused, the body begins to produce materials that terminate the structures that keep the teeth in the jaw – this include the periodontal ligament as well as the underlying bone. As this progression carries on, the teeth become loose in the mouth and then pockets begin to form in between the gums and the teeth. As a result, more and more bacteria grows and may eventually lead to tooth loss if it goes untreated.

Preventing periodontitis involves proper oral health. Things like regular flossing and brushing as well as consistent visits to the dentist can help to fight periodontitis or catch it early on. Smoking is a major cause of periodontitis. If you notice any combination red, bleeding, or swollen gums, loose teeth, receding gums, or bad breath, you may be experiencing the beginning phases of periodontitis. Speak with your dentist immediately if you believe you have shown signs of this threatening disease.

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