Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease
) is a disease of the soft tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. It is responsible for most tooth loss in adults. Dental plaque is a sticky network of bacteria that can cause gum inflammation and destruction of the bone that holds teeth in place. The following are some specific conditions related to gum disease:
- Gingivitis can be considered the first stage of gum disease and simply means that there is an infection in the gum tissue caused by bacteria
- Tartar (calculus) is plaque that has become hardened with salts from saliva. It can be compared to a coral reef or sponge having many tiny holes that act as a home for bacteria
- Periodontitis is when the gums pull away from the teeth and the infection begins to destroy the bone that holds the teeth in place.