The Periodontium consists of the gum and bone that hold (or support) the teeth.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory process that attacks the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. It is caused by plaque, which consists of bacteria and broken down food particles. Plaque turns into a hard stony material called calculus (tartar), when it is not removed.
The bacteria within the plaque and calculus, which causes inflammation, starts as a process called gingivitis, red, swollen and bleeding gums. As time goes on, the gingivitis becomes periodontitis, which is the actual loss of the bone that anchors the teeth in the jaws.
It is thought that there may be a link between gum disease and cardiovascular (or heart) disease. If the gums are in very poor condition, they usually bleed quite readily i.e. when you brush or floss. The bacteria from the plaque can enter the blood this way and make their way to the arteries that supply the heart. The bacteria can then set up deposits in these arteries which can affect blood flow. When the blood flow becomes compromised, this can lead to a heart attack. In addition, the arterial deposits may become loose which can result in a stroke if the blockage is in the brain.
Please note: smoking also causes gum disease
Periodontitis and The Signs of Gum Disease
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