Dental Procedure Pain: Get the Facts

What Is Periodontitis As A Manifestation Of Systemic Disease?

For most people, periodontitis (gum disease) is caused by inadequate dental hygiene. The likelihood of periodontitis can be negated with good oral hygiene, as well as ensuring that you regularly see your dentist. Professional dental cleaning is the most efficient periodontal disease treatment when the condition is in its early stages. Perhaps you are attentive to your oral hygiene needs and aren't in the habit of skipping your regular dental appointments. So why do you regularly suffer from gum disease? It could be that you're experiencing periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic disease. 

A Relevant Systematic Disease

Those most at risk of periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic disease are, rather logically, those with a relevant systematic disease. It becomes relevant when the condition results in a compromised immune system, meaning that your body is unable to sufficiently offset the bacterial effects of periodontitis, which is when an abundance of bacteria causes an infection of the gingival tissues. Common applicable systemic diseases contributing to periodontitis can be a permanent condition, such as diabetes (both type 1 and type 2). Other conditions may not affect a person over their lifetime (such as leukemia) but can still contribute to periodontitis while the condition is active. There are also genetic conditions that have a causative effect.  

Genetic Disorders

Down syndrome occurs when a person develops three sets of chromosome 21, as opposed to two. Those with Down syndrome have changes to their immune system, which can make it easier for periodontal disease to gain a foothold. The other common genetic disorders which can lead to periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic disease include neutropenia (both acquired and congenital), which is a reduced white blood cell count. There's also Marfan syndrome, which is a genetic order that compromises the body's connective tissues, as well as Crohn's disease, which can result in an inflammation of the bowels. Other less common genetic disorders can also contribute to periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic disease.

Efficient Treatment

Now that you know what might be causing your recurring periodontitis, what are your treatment options? It's not as though an increased incidence of periodontal issues must be a fact of life when there's a systematic disease or genetic disorder involved. Given your increased risk of periodontitis, your dentist may wish to schedule more frequent checkups to allow them to identify issues in their early stages, so you might need to see your dentist more than twice a year. You and your dentist should also discuss your at-home oral care, as your existing management might not be adequate. 

Learning that you're affected by periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic disease can be inconvenient. Your periodontal health must be diligently monitored and assisted so that the issue isn't permitted to escalate. Contact a periodontist to learn more about periodontal disease treatment options.