Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums and bone supporting the teeth. The gums appear swollen and bleed easily, which is the body’s natural reaction or immune response to the presence of bacteria. As the disease progresses bone loss occurs due to the chronic inflammation, eventually causing the teeth to become loose. The teeth may fall out on their own or need to be extracted by a dentist.
More concerning still is the reported systemic link between periodontal disease and serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis. This link is due to the oral bacteria entering the blood stream causing a systemic inflammatory response.