One of the most common diseases dentists encounter in their patients is periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontitis is a condition involving the inflammation of the structures that hold your teeth in place. It occurs independent of age, can affect a single tooth or multiple teeth simultaneously, and progresses at varying rates and degrees of severity.
A precondition of periodontitis is the existence of plaque; bacteria that has collected between the gum and tooth. When plaque is not routinely brushed and flossed away, it hardens and affixes itself to the tooth to become tartar. In time, this causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, the gingivitis can progress to destroy the soft tissue of the gum, eventually spreading to the bone that supports the tooth, resulting in tooth loss.