What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease begins with bacterial growth in your mouth that, when not properly treated, can lead to tooth loss or irreversible bone and tissue damage. Early-stage gum disease, or gingivitis, is primarily caused by plaque buildup below the gum line, which causes inflammation and bleeding gums. As the disease progresses, the inner layer of the gum and bone begin pulling away from the teeth, forming periodontal pockets and giving bacteria more surface area on which to thrive. Eventually, gum disease can break down the supporting bone structures and loosen the teeth. Once that happens, the damage to the bone is irreversible.