The Seriousness of Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is a serious infection of the gums that can cause damage to the soft tissue and, if left untreated, can even destroy the bone that supports the teeth. This condition is quite common, but it is also largely preventable. Periodontal diseases are primarily caused by infections and inflammation of the gums and bones that surround and support the teeth. In their early stages, known as gingivitis, the gums may become inflamed and red, and may even bleed.

In its most severe form, called periodontitis, the gums can detach from the tooth, leading to bone loss and teeth becoming loose or even falling out. Periodontal disease is mainly seen in adults and is one of the two biggest threats to dental health, along with tooth decay. Gum disease consists of two fundamental facts. The first is that it occurs mainly in adults.

The second is that it doesn't develop overnight; it comes on slowly, so slowly that you might not even notice it until you develop something worse called periodontitis. Periodontitis isn't gum disease, but it's usually the next step. A simple definition of periodontitis is a bacterial infection that causes the gums to separate from the teeth, opening up the mouth to infections and tooth decay. It can also affect the jaw below the teeth and cause inflammation and tooth decay.

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