Plaque can harden and become calculus. Plaque and calculus build-up is caused by poor oral hygiene and if left in place can cause destruction of the gums and bone that support the teeth. Early stages of gum disease or gingivitis occurs when bacteria in plaque and calculus damage the gums.Gingivitis can often be treated successfully by the removal of the plaque and calculus by your dentist followed by thorough and good oral home care (brushing and flossing). Advanced gum disease or periodontitis can cause serious damage with the loss of gums, bone and even teeth.
As the disease gets worse, pockets form between the tooth and the gums, the gums may recede and tooth may become loose. Periodontal disease can result in the loss of many teeth in some people.
Signs of periodontal disease include, red swollen, tender and bleeding gums, recession, persistent bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, abscesses between the teeth and gums, loose or drifting teeth. Periodontal disease is becoming widely recognised as being linked with other systemic diseases. These include Stroke, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Low fertility in men and Pre term babies.