Our knowledge of juvenile periodontitis is still fragmentary. In 50 years we have advanced from the concept of diffuse atrophy of the alveolar bone (Gottlieb 1923) through the theory of non-inflammatory, degenerative disease of the periodontium (Orban & Weinmann 1942) to the present conception of juvenile periodontitis (Manson & Lehner 1974, Waerhaug 1977a) as a periodontal disease appearing in young individuals with inflammation always present. Only the clinical picture of the disease is quite clear as Baer described it (1971): rapid destruction of the alveolar bone, not commensurate with the local irritants, around more than one permanent tooth in otherwise healthy adolescents. The etiology and etiopathogenesis of juvenile periodontitis have remained unknown. The bacteriological findings of Scransky et al. (1970) and Newman et al. (1974), suggesting some Gram-negative rods as an etiological factor, are still controversial. Neither is the theory of Lehner and his coworkers (1974), that juvenile periodontitis is a selective, cell-mediated immunodeficiency condition, fully accepted. Heredity is an etiologic factor for which there is more evidence. Several authors have found a familial pattern of the disease and it might be eithe...Continue Reading
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