Medical Specialties: Dentistry, Endocrinology, Other

Clinical Definition

Periodontitis is chronic inflammation of the periodontal tissue in the mouth due to bacteria. Tissue affected can include the gingiva, bone and root of the tooth. 

In Our Own Words

Periodontitis is a stage of gum disease. When bacteria in plaque start to build up, it causes gingivitis. First the gums become inflamed, and may bleed when you brush your teeth. When left untreated, periodontitis causes serious damage because the bone and gum start to pull away from the tooth to form deep pockets, which can then become infected. Eventually, the pockets can grow and when enough gum tissue and bone are gone, teeth can start to fall out. 

Relevant Conditions
Common Types
  • Chronic periodontitis
Side Effects
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  • American Academy of Periodontology. “Types of gum disease.” Accessed July 2013.
  • American Dental Association. "Gum disease." Accessed July 2013.
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