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Fast Facts – Definition of Disease of the Periodontium

Fast Facts – Perio Edition Episode 1 

[Andrew Johnston, RDH]

Welcome back, everyone. You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders, RDH.

[Katrina Sanders, RDH]

Hello and welcome to Fast Facts – Perio Edition.

In this episode, we look at a broad definition of disease of the periodontium. Of note periodontitis is defined as an oral polymicrobial disease caused by the coordinated action of a complex microbial community which results in inflammation and destruction of the periodontium in susceptible hosts. I absolutely love this definition because it clarifies the fact that disease of the periodontium begin with biofilm. However, it results in subsequent inflammatory and destructive components initiated by the host response.

When the American Academy of Periodontology met for their World Federation, they clarified this even further.

Of note, the AAP says periodontitis is characterized by microbially associated host mediated inflammation that results in loss of periodontal attachment. They specifically state that not only are we concerned with regards to microbes that are contributory factors, but also the fact that the host itself permits the exacerbation of this disease process.

In addition, they clarify the pathophysiology of the disease has been characterized in its key molecular pathways and ultimately leads to activation of host derived proteinases or proteolytic enzymes that will subsequently enable the loss of periodontal ligament fibers, apical migration of the functional epithelium and will allow apical spread of this bacterial biofilm along the route surface.

When we take a look at this definition, it helps to clarify for us many things. First of all, we’re continually understanding that periodontal disease is not simply a disease associated with biofilm. Rather, it is a disease associated with biofilm present in a susceptible host. And the susceptible host’s ability to allow for the exacerbation of this disease process means that the individual must present with risk factors. These risk factors are, but not limited to, genetic makeup, systemic health, inflammation, immunity, anatomy, saliva, the duration of biofilm in salt, biofilm location, biofilm composition, as well as factors like tobacco habit, systemic drugs, stress occlusion, nutrition, home care, level of professional care, and finally, periodontal pockets.

Now, more than ever, it’s our opportunity to take a look at what these new definitions mean when it comes to the critical work we do as preventive specialists.

This has been another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website www.KatrinaSanders.com Cheers.

[Andrew Johnston, RDH]

Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at www.dentistrx.com. We’ll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

Fast Facts – Perio Edition is an A Tale of Two Hygienists production, sponsored in part by DentistRX. 

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