Aim: To examine critically patients' experiences of the impact of periodontal disease on their daily lives.
Material and methods: Semi-structured interviews of a purposive sample of patients with periodontal conditions were conducted using a flexible evolving topic guide. Data collection and analysis were an inductive, iterative process that occurred concurrently. The data were organized in a framework and recurrent themes identified. Interviews occurred until it was felt that no new themes or ideas were being expressed by respondents (n=14).
Results: Effects of periodontal disease on patients' daily lives included impairment, functional limitation, discomfort and disability (including physical, psychosocial and social disability). A large number of the emergent themes from the analysis were relevant to the domains of Locker's conceptual model of oral health. The domain within Locker's model that had no data relevant to it in the context of periodontal disease was death. Two additional themes emerged that appeared unrelated to Locker's model, these were stigma and retrospective regret.
Conclusion: Periodontal disease reportedly affects patients' lives in a negative manner in a variety of ways. This is of relevance in the management of patients with periodontitis.