Over Half of UK Adults are Affected by Periodontitis
Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition affecting the supporting tissues of the tooth. Destructive periodontitis - where the damage is essentially irreversible - is generally classified as either chronic or aggressive. The aggressive form is associated with early onset and a rapid progression rate that leads to more severe tissue destruction.
In the UK, more teeth are lost through periodontitis than as a result of caries. A recent national Adult Dental Health Survey found that 54% of adults aged over 16 had moderate signs of periodontal disease in one or more teeth (pocket depth > 3.5mm). More severe periodontal disease (pocket depth > 5.5mm) was found in 5% of the population, the majority of whom were over 65 years.
As periodontitis is usually progressive and develops slowly in most people, it is much less common in children. Management of gingivitis in childhood therefore needs to incorporate effective oral hygiene practices that can be carried on into early adulthood and beyond.