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The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Daily home oral care, including proper brushing and flossing, is a must to prevent plaque build-up. If plaque is not removed, it can turn into a hard substance called calculus in less than two days. Calculus is so hard it can only be removed during a professional cleaning.
If calculus develops below the gums onto the tooth root, it makes plaque removal more difficult, leaving you at increased risk for periodontal diseases. Toxins (or poisons) produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums, causing infection. These toxins also can destroy the supporting tissues around the teeth, including the bone.
The following are the most common symptoms of periodontal diseases:
- Bleeding gums during brushing.
- Red, swollen or tender gums.
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste.
- Pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed (leaving a bad taste).
- Permanent teeth that are loose and separating.
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- Any changes in the fit of partial dentures.
- You may have periodontal diseases and not have any of these symptoms. Most people do not experience pain with periodontal diseases.