Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that has a gradual start. It starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth, which then hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors harmful bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis which destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth as well as the bone that holds your teeth in place. Aside from bad breath and bleeding gums, there are very few early warning signs for periodontal disease. In many cases, periodontitis advances silently, often without pain, and causes a lot of damage to your oral health.
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to keep up with a healthy oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist for routine exams and cleanings.
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