- Periodontal disease
- A bacterial infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss. The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on teeth.
* * *periodontal disease n any disease (as gingivitis or periodontitis) affecting the periodontium
* * *disease of the tissues that support and attach the teeth - the gums, periodontal membrane, and alveolar bone. It is caused by the metabolism of bacterial plaque on the surfaces of the teeth adjacent to these tissues. Periodontal disease includes gingivitis and the more advanced stage of periodontitis, which results in the formation of spaces between the gums and the teeth (periodontal pockets), the loss of some fibres that attach the tooth to the jaw, and the loss of bone. The disease is widespread and is the most common cause of tooth loss in older people. Poor oral hygiene is a major contributory factor, but the resistance of the patient also has some influence; for example, the reduced resistance of AIDS patients may predispose to periodontal disease.
* * *any of a group of pathological conditions that affect the surrounding and supporting tissues of the teeth, generally classified as inflammatory (gingivitis and periodontitis), dystrophic (periodontal trauma and periodontosis), and anomalies. Called also dentoalveolitis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.