Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the tissues that support the teeth and attach them to the jaw. If inflammation only involves the soft gum tissue, this is called gingivitis. When inflammation reaches the bone it is termed periodontitis.
There is a significant proportion of the population who are particularly vulnerable to periodontal disease because of the way their system reacts to the plaque that causes the
disease. This susceptibility to gum disease may vary throughout a person’s life, so somebody who has been resistant to the disease can become vulnerable.
Periodontal disease is often unnoticed by the patient until it is quite far advanced, but most people will be aware of some of the following signs: Red swollen gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth. The classic signs of gingivitis (red swollen gums which bleed on brushing) are often the initial indication of periodontal disease. Receding gums and loosened teeth occur at the later stage of periodontitis, which may arise if measures have not been taken to control plaque, the underlying cause of periodontal disease.