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What is chronic periodontitis?

Periodontitis occurs when there is an infection that causes inflammation of the tissues that support and surround the teeth. Chronic periodontitis is also called adult periodontitis. It worsens gradually and fluctuates between periods of intensity and remission. The condition can begin in adolescence and progress through adulthood, usually reaching a level of concern in individuals over the age of 35 years. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent bone and tooth loss from occurring as a result of the condition.

Chronic periodontitis is a form of periodontitis (gum disease) that progresses slowly over a long period of time. Like other forms of periodontitis, chronic periodontitis is caused by bacteria. The bacteria form plaque, a film that enables them to attach firmly to the surface of your teeth. When this plaque spreads below the gums, the toxins released by the bacteria irritate the gums. The body responds with immune cells and chemicals intended to fight the bacteria. But these can also attack healthy tissue, breaking down the gum and bone to which the teeth are attached.

Some of the most prominent characteristics of chronic periodontitis are open pockets that form around the teeth and gingival recession, meaning that your gum line gets lower, exposing more of your teeth.
Chronic periodontitis is a form of periodontal disease (an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support teeth) that results in swelling and redness in the tissues around the teeth. Patients suffer loss of tissue and bone that may become more severe over time. In chronic periodontitis, pockets form and/or gum tissue pulls back. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

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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.