WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support teeth. It is the main cause of tooth loss and can have detrimental systemic effects.
Periodontal diseases as well as decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film composed primarily of various types of bacteria which adhere to your teeth at and below the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. It begins to form within minutes after cleaning. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This cannot be removed without professional cleaning.
The bacterial plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums which may (but not always) cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing periodontal pockets (spaces) to form along the tooth. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.