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an acute or chronic inflammation of the periodontium and adjacent tissues. Periodontitis is usually a result of dental caries and arises as infection spreads from the root canal through the apical foramen to the apex of the root. It may also develop from frequently recurring injury to the tooth; this kind of injury can result from such occupational habits as biting thread or grasping metal nails with the teeth and from any habitual biting of hard objects, for example, pencils or the mouthpieces of pipes.
Acute periodontitis is manifested by sharp pain in the region of the tooth that intensifies when the inflamed area is touched. Swelling often occurs in the gums, lips, or cheeks, and the affected tooth becomes loose. The enlarged submaxillary lymph nodes become sensitive, and fever occasionally arises. The process may sometimes be complicated by osteomyelitis of the jaw, purulent inflammation of the soft tissues of the face and neck, and acute sepsis. Symptoms of chronic periodontitis usually include discomfort while chewing, halitosis, and sometimes fistulas on the gums and facial skin. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the formation of a cyst of the jaw, and both forms of periodontitis can sensitize the body to streptococci.
Treatment of periodontitis is usually conservative, consisting of filling the root canals. Often the tooth is removed. Abscesses are lanced, and antibiotics are used to treat pronounced general symptoms.
REFERENCESGroshikov, M. I. Periodontit. Moscow, 1964.
Marchenko, A. I. “Bolezni periodonta.” In Rukovodstvo po terapevticheskoi stomatologii. Moscow, 1967.
Ovrutskii, G. D., F. G. Gasimov, and S. V. Makarov. Bolezni zubov. Kazan, 1967.
Rybakov, A. I., and V. S. Ivanov. Klinika terapevticheskoi stomatologii. Moscow, 1973.
G. D. OVRUTSKII