dental checkupPeriodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.


Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.


Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.



Red and puffy gums: Gums should never be red or swollen.

Bleeding gums: Gums should never bleed, even when you brush or use dental floss.

Persistent bad breath: Caused by bacteria in the mouth.

New spacing between teeth: Caused by bone loss.

Loose tooth: Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).

Pus around the teeth and gums: Sign that there is an infection present.

Receding gums: Loss of gum around a tooth.

Tenderness or discomfort: Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.




  • Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and the number one chronic inflammatory infection on the planet - it is even higher than the common cold.

  • It is estimated that 75% of Americans have periodontal disease.

  • Patients with periodontal disease are 46 times more likely to lose their teeth.

  • A study published in the November 2007 Journal of Periodontology found that patients with severe periodontal disease had 21% higher health care costs as compared to those with no periodontal disease.

  • Periodontal disease is transferable between partners, is linked to heart disease and studies in Europe have prompted studies in the US linking periodontal disease to Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Smokers are 4 times more likely to develop periodontal disease.

  • Periodontal disease is associated with 3 to 5 times lower birth weights and pre term births.

  • Diabetics are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop chronic gum infections.

  • Men are more likely to have periodontal disease.