eriodontal disease is an infection and inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding teeth. While various factors can increase your risk of developing gum disease, inadequate oral hygiene is the primary cause. When food debris isn’t thoroughly removed from teeth, bacteria in the mouth feed on it, leading to the formation of plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed through brushing, flossing, or dental cleanings, it can harden into tartar, which can irritate and infect the surrounding gum tissue.
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to significant damage to the gums, teeth, and bones. The gum tissue may recede away from the tooth roots, reducing support for the teeth, and eventually, teeth may become loose and fall out or require extraction.
Treatment for gum disease should begin with good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly and receiving regular dental cleanings. There are also medications available to help fight the infection. These measures can help slow or stop the progression of early-stage periodontal disease. In more severe cases, root planing or removal of gum tissue may be necessary.