1.Periodontitis, an unknown cause of tooth loss

2.Periodontitis, a factor in chronic illnesses


“There are no risks. I have no cavities !”.

Contrary to common beliefs, tooth decay is not the principal cause of tooth loss.

Periodontitis is a grave condition that can lead to tooth loss as well as jeopardize the general health condition. This illness is usually unknown to the majority.

Periodontitis, an unknown cause of tooth loss

For adults, periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss. This disease is an infection caused by the proliferation of unhealthy oral bacteria towards a permissive immune response.

More than 40% of the population have feared the loss of their teeth [1]. The women and the elderly are the most concerned by this fear. And yet, few are knowledgeable about periodontitis and its link to tooth loss.

Its symptoms do not seem alarming for the majority:

  • 85% of patients that underwent probing fear tooth loosening.
  • 60% consider bleeding gums a warning sign.
  • Finally, only 31% know that chronic bad breath is an early warning sign.

Given these numbers, associations such as SFPIO (French society of periodontology and oral implantology) are trying to raise awareness of the periodontal disease and its consequences on dental health as well as general health.

Periodontitis, a factor in chronic illnesses

According to numerous studies, periodontal disease could enable chronic illnesses such as:

  • Cardiovascular diseases: Several meta-analyses have shown a risk of cardiovascular disease as well as high blood pressure in patients suffering from periodontal disease [2];
  • Diabetes: Periodontal disease is known as the sixth complication of diabetes [3];
  • Rheumatoid arthritis [4];
  • Breathing disorders such as hospital-acquired pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [5].

According to a survey, 4 out of 10 people consider that oral problems could be risk factors for other diseases.


Periodontitis is a widespread disease. More than 80% of adults between the age of 35 and 44 suffer from periodontal disease.

The disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the tooth. It does not affect the tooth itself.

When the inflammation affects the gums, it is called gingivitis. Untreated, it reaches the deep periodontium and causes the irreversible destruction of the supportive tissues. It is then called periodontitis.

The alarming symptoms are:

  • Loosening of teeth (The visible part of the tooth seems to have increased in length);
  • Dental hypersensitivity due to root exposure;
  • Tooth mobility (The teeth lose fibers of the periodontal ligament);
  • The appearance of spaces that did not exist between the teeth;
  • Occasional abscesses;
  • Bleeding gums;
  • Persistent bad breath.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be wise to consult your doctor.

Sources :

1 : Etude SFPIO/ IFOP « Les Français et la peur de perdre ses dents ». Sondage réalisé auprès d’un échantillon de 1 008 personnes représentatif de la population française âgée de 18 ans et plus, du 18 au 19 Février 2019.

2: “Association between periodontitis and arterial hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis”, Martin-Cabezas R and al, 2016 Oct.

3: “Periodontal disease. The sixth complication of diabetes mellitus.”, Nabet C and al, 1993.

4: “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Association between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontitis. Front Immunol.” Fuggle Nr and al, 2016.

5: “Association between periodontal disease and risk for nosocomial bacterial pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A systematic review.”

Scannapieco F.A and al, 2003.

6: Fiche “Les maladies parodontales”, Institut français pour la recherche odontologique (Ifro), 2004


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