Dental caries and periodontitis

Tooth decay and periodontitis are two common but distinct oral health problems that affect the teeth and gums. Both can have serious consequences if not treated properly.

Dental caries is one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. It is an oral disease that affects the teeth. It occurs when acids produced by bacteria in the mouth corrode the tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. This change in the microbiota of the tooth causes an imbalance in the demineralization and remineralization of the tooth. Symptoms of caries can include tooth sensitivity, pain when chewing, visible discoloration of the teeth and the formation of holes in the teeth.

Prevention of tooth decay involves good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, as well as a balanced diet low in sugar. It is also important to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Periodontal diseases, on the other hand, are a group of diseases, also of bacterial cause, in which, due to the state of dysbiosis under the gums leads to inflammation. It affects, in addition to the gums, the supporting structures of the teeth, such as the alveolar bone.

Periodontitis usually begins with the accumulation of plaque and tartar in the gums. Over time, the bacteria provoke an inflammatory response from the body that damages the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Symptoms of periodontitis can include red, swollen and bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, gum recession, tooth sensitivity and, in advanced stages, tooth mobility.

Prevention of periodontitis also relies on good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing and mouthwash. Regular dental visits are essential for early detection and treatment of gum disease.

The development of caries and periodontitis involves, in addition to those mentioned above, a number of factors, some of which are shared by both conditions. Among them we can find smoking, oral bacteria, diet, oral hygiene, fluoride deficiency in teeth, lack of saliva, use of medications and genetics.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

32 loci

Genes analyzed

ALKAL2 AMY1C BAHCC1 BTN3A2 CA12 CHRNA3 DMRTA1 EFNA5 EIF2S3B FAM118A FGF10 FOXL1 HOXB2 ITPKB KCNH8 KCNJ2 KCNJ3 KPNB1 MAMSTR MC4R MTMR3 NEO1 NFU1 OPA1 PBX3 PITX1 PRUNE2 RARB RBM5 SALL1 SOX9 TMEM219 TNKS TRIM46 ZNF804A

Bibliography

Shungin D, Haworth S, et al . Genome-wide analysis of dental caries and periodontitis combining clinical and self-reported data. Nature Communications, 24 Jun 2019, 10(1):2773.

Robert D., Arezou R., et al . Dental caries are positively associated with periodontal disease severity. Clin Oral Investig. 2019 Oct;23(10):3811-3819. doi: 10.1007/s00784-019-02810-6. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Martínez M, Montero E, et al . Association between caries and periodontal diseases in a sample of employed adults in Spain: a cross-sectional study. Clinical Oral Investigations volume 25, pages3957-3966 (2021).

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