Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss
So how does periodontal disease develop? Not unlike diabetes, periodontal disease can sneak up on you. Inadequate brushing and flossing can cause a buildup of plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) on your teeth, especially around the gumline. If not regularly removed, the bacteria in the plaque can cause inflammation of the gums. This is typically the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. You will recognize the signs of gingivitis as red, swollen, or bleeding gums. When untreated, gingivitis will increase in seriousness, resulting in periodontitis.
As plaque continues to form, it eventually hardens into tartar, which causes your gums to pull away from the teeth. This results in the formation of loose pockets. The bacterial toxins cause an infection within these pockets that targets the bone and ligaments surrounding the teeth. These bones and connective tissue keep your teeth in place. If they weaken, your teeth will begin to loosen, ultimately resulting in your teeth falling out or breaking.