We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Periodontal Disease?

By J. Beam
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Periodontal disease is the term used to describe either of two main diseases of the gums. In human anatomy, the periodontium is the part of the mouth that contains the gums, the crevices between the gums, and the teeth, the surface roots, connective tissues, and bone. The name periodontal disease is used for problems caused by an increase in bacteria or a change in bacteria that affects the gums.

Usually, a patient with gum disease is described as having either gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is a condition most people are familiar with and is characterized by red, swollen, and tender gums. It is often the cause of chronic bad breath as well. Periodontitis is a more progressive disease characterized by swollen gums and bleeding, the formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums, and eventually the decay of the connective tissues, which results in tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is often a result of poor oral care and hygiene, though not always. In some cases, weakened immune systems or genetic disorders can result in chronic problems with the gums. A far more common cause is the long-term neglect of the teeth and gums. Harmful bacteria build up in the mouth, on the surface of teeth, and between the teeth and gums to form plaque. If plaque remains on the surface of the teeth and between the teeth and gums, it becomes a much harder substance called tartar.

In healthy mouths, the build up of plaque occurs naturally, but it is easily controlled by regular brushing and flossing and routine professional teeth cleanings. If the bacteria begin to increase, either due to neglect or to a medical condition, however, the tartar eventually destroys the gums and supporting structures. Periodontal disease occurs more frequently in people with diabetes, osteoporosis, herpes, and diseases that weaken the immune system. Other risk factors are preventable and include smoking and vitamin C deficiency. Short of poor oral hygiene, smoking is the leading preventable cause of gum disease.

In most cases, this disease is completely treatable under a dentist's care, so anyone who experiences any signs or symptoms, including swollen gums, bleeding gums, or pain or tenderness, should see a dentist. Taking good care of the teeth and gums can usually prevent this condition.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By obsessedwithloopy — On Mar 10, 2009

More and more research confirms the fact that periodontal disease and and heart disease are linked together. If one disease is treated it also helps the other disease.

With that information it becomes so important to maintain a healthy mouth, not only for its own sake but also for the sake of the heart.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.