Periodontal disease is the technical name for gum disease and refers to gum inflammation that can lead to soft tissue and bone damage. When this damage occurs, teeth may become loose and need to be extracted.
Teeth naturally get covered in plaque, a sticky substance made of bacteria, mucus, and other particles. While brushing and flossing remove most plaque, some linger in hard to reach places and below the gum line. With time, this built-up plaque becomes hard, turning to tartar, which can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. If not removed, tartar can cause inflammation of the gums.
A combination of inflammation and buildup may cause the gums to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets that can get infected. When this happens, your teeth’s support system is affected, and the bones, gums, and soft tissue lose strength and may begin to deteriorate.