Periodontitis is an inflammation of the periodontium, i.e. of the gum and bone around the tooth, and of the periodontal ligament that attaches the teeth to the bone. These tissues are responsible for holding your teeth firmly in place.
The accumulation of food and bacteria in the area around your gums, known as dental plaque, gives rise to an inflammatory reaction known as gingivitis. When this gingivitis evolves and the inflammation spreads, the gum comes away from the tooth, creating pockets. This is known as periodontitis.
The toxic substance released by the bacteria in dental plaque, and the bacteria themselves, can enter the blood stream, causing inflammations and infections in parts of the body that are nowhere near your gums
Oral bacteria can also take up residence in different organs, harming them and altering their functions.
Potential alterations caused by periodontitis
Periodontitis is a risk factor in certain pathologies, i.e. the presence of periodontitis increases the risk of suffering the following general alterations:
- Infective endocarditis, heart attack and infection of the heart valves.
- Arterial hypertension.
- Kidney disorders.
- Premature births.
- Pneumonia and bronchitis.
- Rheumatoid polyarthritis.
This shows you the importance of dental and gingival hygiene, not only with respect to your teeth, but also to your body’s general health.