MMWR Suppl 2013 Nov;62(3):129-35
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a chronic infection of the hard and soft tissue supporting the teeth and is a leading cause of tooth loss in older adults. Tooth loss impairs dental function and quality of life in older adults. The chronic infections associated with periodontitis can increase the risk for aspiration pneumonia in older adults and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation that impairs general health. The severity of periodontal disease can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe on the basis of multiple measurements of periodontal pocket depth, attachment loss, and gingival inflammation around teeth.
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