Periodontal disease is a gradual and ongoing infection of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. It begins with gingivitis, which involves inflammation and irritation of the gingiva: the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth.
If left untreated, gingivitis can develop further into periodontitis, which can lead to tissue recession, bone loss, and ultimately, tooth loss.
In periodontitis, the inflammation may spread to deeper portions of the gingiva, the connective tissue fibers that attach the tooth to the gingiva, and eventually the supporting bone. Your body’s immune system constantly endeavors to fight off this infection. The imbalance of your body’s immune response and the bacteria that causes this inflammatory process can lead to further destruction.