Definition of periodontitis
Periodontitis is a widespread disease affecting two thirds of the population aged over 40. Together with caries, it is one of the most frequent oral infectious diseases. It is an inflammatory disease of the supporting apparatus of the teeth that causes gum recession and bone atrophy of the jaw, ultimately leading to tooth loss.
As to its pathophysiology, periodontitis occurs due to plaque formation by bacteria releasing metabolic and toxic breakdown products that trigger an inflammatory response. The disease may go undetected for a long period of time, as it initially does not cause any pain. Gum bleeding, swelling and halitosis are typical periodontitis symptoms. Cardiac patients, diabetics, asthmatics and pregnant women are most affected by the disease.
In comprehensive, integrative dental practice, periodontitis does not count as an isolated disease, but a symptom of a general dysregulation of the organism. Thus, its treatment should not be reduced to the oral cavity. Via the bloodstream, bacteria can travel to other body sites, causing inflammation and associated disorders. There is evidence that bacterial infections in the oral cavity can cause arterial plaques, thus doubling the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The onset and progression of periodontitis is favoured by various factors such as:
Hormonal fluctuations, diabetes or metabolic disorders may as well be involved in the onset of the disease. However, immunity must be taken into account as a key player:
A weakened or unbalanced immune system is a worsening factor, as the body cannot ward off infections and/or keep inflammation under control if defence mechanisms are impaired.
Hence, for a successful treatment of periodontitis, it is essential to stabilise the immune system, ensuring an efficient clearing of the bacterial burden by the body’s own defence mechanisms.
Integrated treatment of periodontitis with micro-immunotherapy
In addition to the conventional treatment based on antibiotics, an integrative treatment approach in periodontitis should as well aim at regulating the patient’s immune system, supporting its function in order to ensure an efficient elimination of bacteria. Further therapeutic measures include intestinal cleansing, detoxification therapy, stress management strategies and antioxidant micronutrient supplementation.
The application of micro-immunotherapy
Micro-immunotherapy, a treatment based on the latest findings in the field of immunology, is an immunoregulatory approach aimed at recovering or maintaining the balance of the immune system. It uses immune messenger substances such as cytokines (including interleukins, interferons, growth factors, among others) and nucleic acids in low doses and is thereby well-tolerated.
These active substances are administered following a specific sequence that mimics the cascade of immune mechanisms. Micro-immunotherapy medicines are taken sublingually, ensuring rapid absorption and direct information transmission to the immune system. They are compatible with other treatment approaches and preventive programmes.
In periodontitis, micro-immunotherapy aims at preventing further tissue damage by dampening inflammation, counteracting bone resorption whilst promoting bone formation and stimulating remineralization.
- Hajishengallis G. Periodontitis: from microbial immune subversion to systemic inflammation. Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 ;15(1):30-44.
- Liccardo D et al. Periodontal Disease: A Risk Factor for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(6):1414.
- Lee HJ et al. The association between cumulative periodontal disease and stroke history in older adults. J Periodontol. 2006;77(10):1744-54
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