• Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation of the tissues that support your teeth. Periodontal disease is considered a “silent” disease because it is usually painless. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms constantly on teeth. Plaque that is not removed causes gums to be pulled away from your teeth, forming pockets. Plaque can also harden into calculus (tartar). The pockets and hard calculus make it difficult to remove plaque without help from a dentist, and periodontal disease can develop.

    Individuals that have poor oral hygiene, smoke/chew tobacco, take steroids, have a family history of periodontal disease, are pregnant, have certain systemic diseases such as diabetes, or take certain drugs are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease.

    Periodontal disease is classified into 2 major stages according to the severity of the disease: GINGIVITIS and PERIODONTITIS

    Gingivitis is the milder form that only affects the gums. Gums can become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible if caught early one and properly treated.

    If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, where the gums and bone that support the teeth can become seriously damaged. Teeth -even healthy teeth - may become loose and need to be extracted.

    The best way to avoid periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your Dentist regularly.

    Source: American Dental Association