Periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the tissues supporting the teeth, including the gums, bone, and ligaments. It usually starts with gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—on the teeth and gumline. If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease.
Periodontitis involves the inflammation and infection of the deeper structures supporting the teeth. It can lead to pockets forming between the teeth and gums, causing further accumulation of bacteria and debris. Over time, this can result in bone loss, gum recession, and even tooth mobility or loss.
Risk factors for gum disease include poor oral hygiene, smoking, certain medical conditions (such as diabetes), hormonal changes, and genetic predisposition. Regular dental checkups, professional cleanings, and proper oral care at home are crucial in preventing and managing gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can have serious consequences for oral health and overall well-being.
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