Periodontitis and its connection with tooth plaque

Periodontitis and its connection with tooth plaque

Periodontitis is an inflammatory process in periodontium tissues процес в тканинах пародонту, which is characterized by progressive destruction of periodontal fibers and alveolar bone. It is the periodontal tissues that are responsible for how much your teeth will be held on the bone and whether the gums will bleed.

Modern statistics shows that periodontitis is “getting younger”[1] and now this disease does not apply to older age patients. Youth have the same problem.

Periodontitis has certain stages of clinical course and forms of inflammation. They must be distinguished by qualified doctor-periodontist. Patient, over time, depending on the stage of periodontitis, may just feel the mobility of the teeth, gum bleeding, and tooth loss.

Stages of periodontitis development

Стадії пародонтиту

Periodontitis causes appearance of periodontal pockets, resorption of alveolar bone (when the bone “descends”), gums recession (exposing teeth necks) and pathological tooth mobility and, as a result, teeth loss.

No matter how commonplace it may sound, periodontitis in most cases begins with a lack of adequate oral hygiene (home and professional at the dentist). the accumulation of plaque on the teeth is a trigger for periodontitis. and plaque for periodontal tissues is almost a disaster.

Dental plaque is an accumulation of bacteria and their waste products that adhere well to the surface of the tooth, creating a microbial pellicle.

Зубний наліт, зубний камінь

Why dental plaque appears?

There are a number of factors that influence the appearance of dental plague:

  • anatomical structure of the tooth
  • absence of adequate hygiene
  • irregular visits to the dentist for hygiene procedures
  • balanced nutrition. It has been proven that the amount of plaque increases significantly during the period of carbohydrate consumption in comparison with periods of protein-fat nutrition.
  • chewing intensity (solid food intake)
  • the quality of saliva, the degree of saliva viscosity, its acid-base balance (ph)
  • the presence of fillings, old dentures, carious cavities. 

Plaque formation takes place in a specific sequence:

  • adherence of bacteria to the tooth surface
  • formation of extracellular structure (matrix), when plaque becomes denser and turns into tartar over time
  • bacterial growth. 

First, a soft plaque forms and if it is on the surface of the tooth for more than three days, there is a gradual mineralization (compaction) and the transformation of the soft plaque into tartar. It is tartar that injures the gums and has a toxic effect on the hard tissues of the tooth and periodontal tissues. 

The main danger of plaque and tartar is periodontal pathogenic microflora, which is a trigger in periodontal tissue disease.

Importance of prevention

Therefore, prevention is important, which means a timely visit to the dentist for examinations and professional hygiene procedures (every six months). During such visits, professional hygiene, screening of periodontal tissues and the appointment of personal hygiene products are carried out.

In our clinic, a periodontist will always carry out a special screening test to identify the risks of periodontitis. He will fill out the periodontic chart and will do everything to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

A specialized computer program will remind the doctor and you when it is necessary to visit and not miss a preventive course to maintain a healthy oral cavity. 

So, it’s up to you to decide if you need plaque and calculus in your mouth. 

Prevention is much more effective than treatment and consequences of diseases.

Author: Larysa Tonkogolos, doctor‑periodontist.


[1] Lindhe J. Textbook of clinical periodontology. — Copenhagen, Munksgaard, 2nd edition