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Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums. More often than not, it is caused by plaque, a thick and sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the surface of teeth. When not removed, plaque can harden to become calculus, also known as tartar. Plaque and calculus are caused by poor oral hygiene.

In the early stages of gum disease, bacteria in plaque and calculus can damage the gums and cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can be treated by the removal of the plaque and calculus. When diagnosed with gingivitis, your dentist will recommend you to get your teeth cleaned professionally in the office to better remove the plaque and calculus.

When not addressed promptly, gum disease can progress into the advanced stages. This stage of gum disease is also known as periodontitis. It can cause serious damage to the teeth and gums, as well as the bone that supports the teeth. When the inflammation and infection of the gums gets worse, pockets form between the gums and teeth, and the gums may eventually recede from the teeth. As a result, teeth can become loose, fall out or require an extraction.

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Some signs of periodontal disease are:

- Red and swollen gums

- Tender, painful or bleeding gums

- Persistent bad breath

- Abscesses between teeth and gums

- A foul taste in the mouth

- Gums that have shrunk from the teeth

If you notice any of the above signs and symptoms, do make an appointment as soon as possible with a dentist. Good oral hygiene practices and regular cleanings at the dentist can help control and stabilize periodontal disease.

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