The term periodontal disease refers to a group of diseases that range from gingivitis to severe periodontitis. These diseases are generally caused by the build up of bacteria in dental plaque which causes the gums to pull away from from the teeth, leaving infected pockets. As your body's immune system attacks the bacteria at the gum line and in infected pockets, bacterial toxins, as well as your body’s enzymes made to fight the infection start to break down the tissues and bone holding your teeth in place.
If left untreated, periodontal disease results in damage to soft tissues and bone and leads to tooth loss. Most people have some form of periodontal disease and do not know it. Symptoms often include tenderness or discomfort, bleeding gums, loose teeth, persistent bad breath, receding gums, red and inflamed gums and new spacing between teeth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is imperative that you seek treatment because periodontal disease is a progressive disease, meaning it will only get worse without treatment.
In addition to affecting the gums and bone, periodontal disease can affect your overall systemic health. Periodontal disease has been associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung diseases, pre-term/low weight babies and other systemic diseases!
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