Dr. Frank's Anthem Dentist Blog


Why is periodontal disease a chronic disease?

I have read a lot about periodontal disease. I understand it is an advanced stage of gum disease: accumulated plaque on your teeth and gums attacks the gum and the bone.

But plaque can be removed by professional cleaning, and good oral hygiene helps to prevent accumulation of plaque.

So, why is periodontal disease chronic then? Why can it be treated but not cured?


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2 Responses to “Why is periodontal disease a chronic disease?”

  1. lord_ponderer Says:

    Periodontitis is usually chronic because it is slowly progressing. Recall that first we see gingivitis (inflammation of the gums with no active bone loss) before the bone loss (periodontitis) starts. Gingivitis can be seen fairly soon after bad hygiene starts, and usually goes away when local causative factors are removed. Periodontitis, however, takes years to start and the bone loss is slow. It happens after years of gingivitis.

    When the teeth are cleaned and the plaque removed, the bone loss will stop (providing the patient improves their oral hygiene habits). This is how it is treated. Rather than saying that periodontitis is “incurable,” it is better to say that it is “irreversible” since the bone does not regrow and the bone loss is permanent. But as long as the bone loss is stopped, the patient does not have periodontitis.

    Hope this helps!

  2. There are millions of people who are unaware that they have some form of periodontal disease, but the following symptoms may be a precursor to the disease. Periodontal disease is both preventable and treatable; the best treatment for your particular condition will be advised by either your dentist or periodontist. People who suffer from periodontal disease will be required to visit the dentist more frequently than the recommended bi-annual visits. If the disease has been caught in the early stages then it may be easily treated by your dentist. However, if the infection has been left unchecked and allowed to progress into a serious condition, you may be referred to a periodontist who will asses the condition and recommend the best treatment like periodontal surgery. The frequency of the visits needed to address the condition will also be advised to you on your examination.
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