Periodontitis is a form of gum disease.  It is a chronic infection of the gums which is characterized by a loss of attachment between the teeth and the jawbone.   Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individual.  What is dental plaque? Dental plaque is formed by tons of bacteria..  When the plaque is accumulated around teeth, the bacteria will irritate the gum to turn red, swell and bleed easily.  As time passed by, the gum will gradually separate from the teeth forming infectious pocket spaces.  Plaque can also turn into hard, and rough porous substance known as calculus (tartar). Calculus can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and the bone that hold the teeth in place will deteriorate. If disease left untreated, the bone and the gum that support the teeth will be destroyed.  The teeth may eventually become loose and will lead to teeth loss.

The common visible signs of periodontal disease are bleeding, redness and swelling of the gum.  Nevertheless, active periodontal disease can also be present without any visible signs or pains.

The following diagrams are illustration of the Progression of Periodontal Disease


Pink Gingiva

No bone loss

Mild Periodontitis

Gum recession Gingiva is turning slightly pink

1% – 30% bone loss

Moderate Periodontitis

Gingiva is turning red and swelling Teeth become loose

30% – 50% bone loss

Severe Periodontitis

Teeth are so loose and falling out

>50% bone loss