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Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition that affects the tissues and bones that support the teeth. It is caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, and can lead to inflammation, infection, and tooth loss if left untreated.
There are two main stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that affects the gums and is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth.
Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease that affects the gums, bones, and other supporting structures of the teeth. It is characterized by the formation of pockets between the teeth and gums, and can lead to the loss of teeth if left untreated.
Gum disease is a common condition, and it is estimated that half of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. Risk factors for gum disease include poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, diabetes, and certain medications.
Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease is important to prevent the condition from worsening and to protect the health of the teeth and gums.