The importance of proper oral hygiene for the quality of your lifeNon surgical periodontal treatment is the most important responsibility for dental hygienists. Today we are getting more and more information about the possible association between amount of dental plaque and periodontal disease and life threatening diseases. Dental plaque/Oral Biofilm Dental plaque is made up of a film of bacteria, which covers the surfaces of the teeth, including the gaps between the teeth and gums More than 700 of bacterial species have been identified in the human oral cavity and most of them in dental plaque. The total number of microbial cells in subgingival plaque is estimated to be 33x108 in healthy subjects, compared with 174x108 in periodontitis patients. It leads to tooth decay, gum inflammation and in some cases to a chronic inflammation caused by dental plaque. Micro-organisms and their metabolites from tooth surfaces, periodontal pockets and mouth mucosa enter into the blood stream triggering systemic reactions detrimental to systemic health and hence associate with a number of diseases. Chronic infection and Inflammation Chronic infection and inflammation are considered to be risk factors in the development of not only periodontitis but also in the development of many systemic diseases, and predispose some subjects to e.g. the atherosclerotic and cancer process. Gingival inflammation and Periodontitis Periodontal disease is among the most commonly occurring infections in man. It is estimated that mild to moderate periodontis affects 20% to 50%, and severe, generalized periodontitis is seen in 5-20% of the adult population in the industrialized countries suffer from this multi-factorial illness. Periodontal disease is a unique and silent infection with potentially profound effects on general health. Smoking is an important risk factor for the development of periodontitis and it increases its severity although bacterial pathogens are required to initiate the disease process. However it has become evident that without the inflammatory host reaction, the presence of bacterial pathogens alone is not sufficient to cause tissue destruction that occurs in the course of periodontitis. It has been suggested that in individuals with poor oral health, the reaction to bacteria may lead to an excessive host response resulting in systemic inflammatory reaction. Life threatening Diseases Chronic infection and inflammation caused by dental plaque and periodontitis has the potential to trigger systemic reactions and could probably lead to malignant transformation in a variety of tissues. Carcinogenesis is a multi-step process in which infection and inflammation have been estimated to play a role in 15-20% of all malignancies. Atherosclerosis is a low-grade chronic systemic inflammation that has been linked to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Inflammation has a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis; it is presumably involved in the initiation, but also in the progression to infarction. Plaque Control Tooth brushing remains the main stay of oral health measures in the western world. However, despite the widespread use of both toothbrushes and interdental aids, the majority of the population do not clean their teeth thoroughly enough to prevent plaque accumulation. Patients are expected to take an active part and apply self-care preventive measures. The roles of the oral health profession are most important in guiding the patient in how to perform self-care that contributes to the oral health status. This requires the caregiver to be patient-centered and to have good communication skills. Changing health behaviors is a challenge for both the patient and the dental hygienist or dentist.
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Dental Hygiene Research Meeting – Non Surgical Periodontal Treatment: Associations between Oral Biofilm/Dental Plaque and Life threatening Diseases is co-sponsored by Tribune Group GmbH. Tribune Group GmbH is a recognized ADA CERP and AGD PACE provider.