Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition that affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth, eventually affecting the jawbone itself.
It is most often preceded by gingivitis, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue allowing toxins contained in plaque to irritate and inflame the gum tissue. Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat.
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can cause shifting teeth, loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss.