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J Can Dent Assoc. 1997 Dec;63(11):837-45.

Oral scurvy and periodontal disease.

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Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, QC.


Although gingival bleeding is a manifestation of both scurvy and inflammatory periodontal disease, the two conditions are distinctly separate entities. The defective collagen synthesis associated with scurvy also manifests many of the same symptoms as deficient vitamin C physiology, but neither condition is associated with periodontal disease. Unlike scurvy, the various periodontal diseases are caused by oral plaque microorganisms. The body's reaction to these microorganisms is strongly influenced by the compromised functioning of leucocytes and monocytes. Although certain infections and systemic diseases cause gingival bleeding, avitaminosis-C does not cause commonly encountered periodontitis. Vitamin C should not be used for the prophylaxis or cure of periodontal disease in otherwise healthy, well-nourished individuals. A patient with bleeding gingivae warrants referral to a periodontist, oral medicine specialist, or appropriately qualified dentist for examination and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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