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What causes chronic periodontitis?

Chronic periodontitis occurs when inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) is untreated or treatment is delayed. Infection and inflammation spreads from the gums (gingiva) to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. Loss of support causes the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontitis is uncommon in childhood but increases during adolescence.

The following can contribute to chronic periodontitis:
  • smoking or tobacco use
  • puberty, pregnancy, and menopause in women 
  • stress
  • medications
  • clenching or grinding your teeth
  • poor nutrition and obesity
  • diabetes and any other disease that interferes with the body's immune system
Chronic periodontitis occurs when inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) is untreated or treatment is delayed. Infection and   inflammation spreads from the gums (gingiva) to the ligaments and bone that  support the teeth. Loss of support causes the teeth to become loose and  eventually fall out. Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. The primary underlying cause is bacterial infection of the gums and the periodontal tissues (periodontal ligament, gingiva, cementum, and alveolar bone), which hold the teeth in place. Periodontitis is uncommon in childhood but increases during adolescence. The following can contribute to chronic periodontitis:
  • smoking or tobacco use
  • puberty, pregnancy, and menopause in women 
  • stress
  • medications
  • clenching or grinding your teeth
  • poor nutrition and obesity
  • diabetes and any other disease that interferes with the body's immune   system

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.