Periodontitis is inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that hold the teeth in place, causing them to loosen and fall out.
This condition occurs when plaque builds up at the base of the teeth, producing inflammation and forming a gap in the gums that will eventually fill with tartar and plaque.
Without proper oral hygiene or regular dentist checkups, this problem can affect the tissues and the bone around the teeth, leading to tooth loss.
As the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains, the most common symptoms of periodontitis are bad breath, bright red or reddish-purple gums, gums that bleed easily and are sensitive to touch, swollen gums and loose teeth. These symptoms may first be confused with the warning signs of gingivitis. The general recommendation to avoid either condition is to get regular oral checkups with a specialist in dentistry.
Treatment can include repairing the rough surfaces of the teeth and getting a thorough and professional teeth cleaning. It can also involve surgery, either to support lose teeth or to remove teeth that may cause more serious problems.
Keep in mind: Plaque contains bacteria that increases the chances of infections and tooth abscesses.
Related article: Prevention: Protect your teeth and avoid costly treatment (article in Spanish)