What is periodontal disease? Periodontitis or periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum and jaw bone disease, is a bacterial disease affecting the supporting structures of the teeth such as the gingiva (gum), periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone (part of the jawbone). Periodontal disease can cause great damage to these structures which provide support and nourishment to your teeth. Periodontitis is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontitis is caused by a build-up of plaque, a colourless bacterial film which forms on the teeth. This build-up can lead to gum inflammation, which is known as gingivitis and is fairly common among children and adults. When gums become compromised, the seal between the teeth and gums opens and the bacterial infection deepens into the tissue. This can cause severe damage to the underlying bone and periodontal ligament and if left untreated will result in tooth loss. Preventing gingivitis and periodontitis is best done through practising good oral hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist.
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