Periodontitis epidemiology

is periodontitis under-recognized, over-diagnosed, or both?

Panos N. Papapanou, Cristiano Susin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Currently, two principal forms of destructive periodontal disease are recognized – chronic periodontitis and aggressive periodontitis – but their distinction in epidemiologic studies has been rather problematic because of substantial overlap of their primary features. This review critically appraises some key features relevant to the epidemiology of human periodontitis that underlie its core ‘identity’ as a bacterial biofilm-induced, inflammatory disease and discusses its impact within the larger context of aging populations. The currently adopted epidemiologic methodologies/definitions that result in the almost ubiquitous prevalence of periodontitis indeed overestimate the occurrence of the disease that may actually put individuals at a true biologic, functional or psychosocial disadvantage. Use of these definitions has inevitably promoted the inference that periodontitis constitutes an insurmountable oral health problem. In contrast, reliance solely on physical measurements of probing depth and/or attachment loss under-recognizes the true impact that periodontitis may have on the well-being of individuals. It is currently unclear whether inclusion of the psychosocial and systemic dimensions of the disease in case definitions would result in higher or lower prevalence estimates. The review concludes that periodontitis should no longer be defined solely by gingival/periodontal inflammation in the presence of increased probing depths and attachment loss but should incorporate additional dimensions capturing impaired function, esthetics, and impact on general health and quality of life. A multidimensional approach to the assessment of periodontitis would facilitate an improved understanding of its epidemiology and consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalPeriodontology 2000
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Fingerprint

Periodontitis
Epidemiology
Aggressive Periodontitis
Chronic Periodontitis
Oral Health
Periodontal Diseases
Biofilms
Esthetics
Epidemiologic Studies
Quality of Life
Inflammation
Health
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

Cite this

Periodontitis epidemiology : is periodontitis under-recognized, over-diagnosed, or both? / Papapanou, Panos N.; Susin, Cristiano.

In: Periodontology 2000, Vol. 75, No. 1, 01.10.2017, p. 45-51.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Papapanou, Panos N. ; Susin, Cristiano. / Periodontitis epidemiology : is periodontitis under-recognized, over-diagnosed, or both?. In: Periodontology 2000. 2017 ; Vol. 75, No. 1. pp. 45-51.
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