The word periodontal literally means around the tooth. Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support the teeth. There are several types of periodontal diseases . Gingivitis or gum disease is the mildest form and is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
When plaque is not removed it can harden into a rough deposit called tartar. Tartar that forms under the gum line makes it more difficult to remove plaque. The bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and cause inflammation. The gums then begin to bleed and swell allowing the bacteria to go deeper under the gum line. If the inflammation is allowed to continue there is chronic inflammation, infection and bone loss. As the bone dissolves around the teeth, the teeth become loose and fall out or need to be extracted by the dentist. Unfortunately, pain does not occur until the final stages of the disease and treatment at that time has very little change of being successful.