The microbiological factor of periodontitis
Periodontitis is an infection of the structures supporting the tooth, characterized by a progressive destruction of the radicular cementum, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone.
This destruction is the consequence of a chronic inflammatory process activated by bacterial toxins. Its course is often erratic, with periods of acute flare-up and remission; the outcome, in the most serious cases, is tooth loss.
Infiltration of pathogenic bacteria from the sub-gingival pockets into the periodontal tissues is the primary cause of periodontal disease. The bacteria form complex biofilms, the imbalance between Gram-negative pathogens and Gram-positive saprophytes which constitutes the biological basis for development of the disease.
The new research technologies such as confocal laser scanning microscopy, identification of the microbial genomes, and other innovative genomic and molecular techniques have made it possible to conduct increasingly thorough studies and in-depth analysis of dental biofilm, thanks to the channels that run through its structure and create a primitive circulatory system.
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