Article: Volume 46 Number 10 Page 907 - November 2019

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  Dent Update 2019; 46: 907-913

Periodontics:  The Burden of Periodontal Disease

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Abstract: Periodontal disease is the most common chronic inflammatory disease seen in humans. It is a major public health concern, and in its severe form affects approximately 10.8% or 743 million people aged 15−99 worldwide. Trends such as the rise of smoking in developing countries, the obesity and diabetes epidemic, coupled with an ageing population with greater tooth retention, are all likely to increase the burden of periodontitis still further in the UK and worldwide. Consequences of periodontitis include hypermobility of teeth, tooth migration, drifting and eventual tooth loss. Tooth loss can directly affect the quality of life of a person in terms of reduced functional capacity, self-esteem and social relationships.

Clinical relevance: This article reports the prevalence of periodontal disease in the UK and worldwide, along with the consequences of periodontitis. The importance of timely diagnosis to avoid litigation is discussed, as is the importance of effective management of periodontitis in order to improve patients’ oral health-related quality of life.

Author notes: Kasim Butt, BDS, MJDF(RCS Eng), PgCert Dent Ed, Specialty Registrar in Restorative Dentistry, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Sheffield (email:, Razia Butt, BDS, MFDS(RCPS Glasg), Dental Core Trainee in Restorative Dentistry, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Birmingham and Praveen Sharma, BDS, MJDF(RCS Eng), FHEA, PhD, Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry, University of Birmingham, School of Dentistry, Birmingham, UK.

Objective: To highlight the importance of timely diagnosis and appropriate management of periodontitis, a globally prevalent disease.


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