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Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection affecting the gums and connective tissues. If plaque and tartar (films of bacteria) stay on the teeth for too much time, the bacteria in them move to and along the gums, causing serious inflammation and even loss of teeth.

Gum disease comes in two severities: gingivitis and periodontitis.

If you have gingivitis, you’re in the better boat. Gingivitis is the milder stage of gum disease, and it’s usually reversible with a little help from your local dental professional. When you have gingivitis, your gums will look red, bloody and swollen.

The more advanced form of gum disease is known as periodontitis, and in it, the swollen gums move away from the teeth and form pockets of bacteria; this can lead to losing teeth. As your body attempts to destroy the infection, it can break down bones and tissues supporting the teeth, leading to intense damage. If you think you may have periodontitis, please seek professional help immediately.

There are a couple of things you can do to avert periodontal disease. As always, we recommend that you brush twice daily, floss once every day and follow a healthy diet. For further information about periodontal disease, please set up your next appointment with our office in San Francisco, California, by phoning 415-333-3919 now. Dr. Peter Karsant and the team at Karsant Dentistry would be thrilled to help answer any of your questions.