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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 38-42

Reasons to seek periodontal treatment in a libyan community

1 Department of Periodontal, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya
2 Department of Periodontal, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3 Department of Periodontal, Sebha University, Sebha, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Taher Elhassan
University of Benghazi, Benghazi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/dmr.dmr_5_17

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Background: Periodontitis is a persistent bacterial infection characterized by the progressive destruction of the tooth-supporting structures and can lead to tooth loss. By triggering inflammatory reactions, periodontitis can detrimentally affect systemic health. Periodontitis is a prevalent disease in developed countries like the USA, whereas none is known about its prevalence or the motivations to ask for periodontal treatment in Libya. Aim of the Study: The aim of this study is to understand and analyze the motivation factors to seek periodontal care in the Libyan community; we recorded the chief complaints (CCs) of Libyan patients seeking periodontal treatment in a dental clinic. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to gather data regarding periodontal disease and the associated CCs in the Libyan community. Materials and Methods: A total of 121 (20–80 years) Libyan patients with periodontitis who sought periodontal care in a private polyclinic were examined. Their CCs were recorded and grouped into true periodontal CC, emergency, esthetic, or referral based. Results: Most of the patients had moderate-to-severe chronic periodontitis. The examiner recorded 170 CCs. They were divided into 14 different CC groups. The most popular CC (32%) was “I was told that I have gum disease,” which is not a true periodontal CC. The second (31%) was “my gum bleeds when I brush my teeth,” which represents a true periodontal CC. Pain constituted only 3% of the patients' complaints. Other true periodontal CCs reported in descending order were: teeth mobility, recession, gum enlargement, bad odor, tooth sensitivity, and gum discoloration. All together constituted 20%. The rest presented for checkup and “cleaning” (9%) or were referred before commencing orthodontic treatment (4%) or implant placement (1%). Conclusion: The major motivation factor to seek periodontal care was found to be the information given to the patient that they had periodontal problems. This emphasizes the crucial role of health-care providers in determining patients with periodontal diseases and raises the awareness level of this silent disease among the Libyan population.

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