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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Clinical course of chronic periodontitis. II. Incidence, characteristics and time of occurrence of the initial periodontal lesion.

AIM: The purpose of this study was to assess the initiation and progression of periodontal disease during adult life. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a 26-year longitudinal investigation of the initiation and progression of chronic periodontitis that started in 1969 and included 565 men of Norwegian middle class, 223 who had participated in some, but not all, intermediate examinations presented at the last survey in 1995. Fifty-four individuals were available for examination in all seven surveys. RESULTS: Covering the age range from 16 to 60 years, the study showed that at 16 years of age, 5% of the participants had initial loss of periodontal attachment ( ILA > or = 2 mm) at one or more sites. Both the subject incidence and the site incidence increased with time, and by 32 years of age, all individuals had one or more sites with loss of attachment. As age progressed, new lesions affected sites, so that as these men approached 60 years of age approximately 50% of all available sites had ILA. An assessment of the intraoral distribution of the first periodontal lesion showed that, regardless of age, molars and bicuspids were most often affected. At and before the age of 40 years, the majority of ILA was found in buccal surfaces in the form of gingival recession. By 50 years, however, a greater proportion of sites presented with attachment loss attributed to pocket formation or a combination of pocket formation and gingival recession. As individuals neared 60 years of age, approximately half of the interproximal areas in posterior teeth had these lesions. CONCLUSION: This investigation has shown that, in a well-maintained population who practises oral home care and has regular check-ups, the incidence of incipient periodontal destruction increases with age, the highest rate occurs between 50 and 60 years, and gingival recession is the predominant lesion before 40 years, while periodontal pocketing is the principal mode of destruction between 50 and 60 years of age.[1]


  1. Clinical course of chronic periodontitis. II. Incidence, characteristics and time of occurrence of the initial periodontal lesion. Heitz-Mayfield, L.J., Schätzle, M., Löe, H., Bürgin, W., Anerud, A., Boysen, H., Lang, N.P. Journal of clinical periodontology. (2003) [Pubmed]
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