Gum disease relates to cases where the tissue and bones that surround and support your teeth become infected. This can be caused by the build-up of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria and toxins. Plaque can be removed by daily brushing and cleaning but if it is not removed it can infect your teeth and gums. If gum disease is allowed to progress too far, these bacteria could infect gum tissue and the bone that supports your teeth.
There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is considered to be the earliest stage of gum disease. It is milder in comparison and causes your gums and soft tissue to become irritated, red, and swollen.
Periodontitis is more severe. Periodontitis spreads from the gums and will cause damage to the tissue and bone that support your teeth.
While gingivitis is normally relatively easy to treat and does not have long-lasting consequences, most cases of periodontitis arise from untreated gingivitis. Not all cases of gingivitis will progress to periodontitis but if it does this can cause your teeth to become loose, fall out, or become damaged to the extent that they will need to be removed.
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