Periodontal Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease can be a deceptive oral health illness that sneaks up on you. It is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque and hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, the bacteria begin to attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the first stage of gum disease, known as “gingivitis.” Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis when left untreated. Periodontitis ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth, and even the bone that holds your teeth in place. Except for bad breath and bleeding gums, there are very few early warning signs of this illness. The disease advances insidiously, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth for no apparent reason.
Tooth loss is the most obvious symptom of gum disease. Scientific research has discovered a link between gum disease and major medical illnesses, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. When your gums become infected, your entire immune system is weakened.