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Dental Hygiene

Cause of periodontitis



Can periodontitis occur in someone who religiously flosses twice a day, visits her dentist every 6 months and has an annual x-ray? Is there an area where plaque develops that is inaccessible to a dentist? Does periodontitis in its early stages not show up on an x-ray?


Bone loss on an x-ray does not show up in the early, early stages.  It has to be a little more advanced for it to show up.  If you are not flossing properly, it doesn't matter how many times a day you floss, bacteria can still be present.  There are other factors to periodontal disease besides plaque such as genetic factors, systemic factors, and your body's resistance to disease.  It is unusual to all of a sudden get periodontal disease if you have been seeing your dentist every 6 months, but, something else may be going on in your body that can be contributing to this.  Many symptoms of other diseases show up in the oral cavity before they are evident elsewhere.

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Response by:

Michele P Carr, RDH,  MA Michele P Carr, RDH, MA
Associate Professor of Dental Hygiene
Associate Professor of HS Nursing Quality & Research
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University