Periodontitis is an infection affecting the gum and bone around a tooth. Gingivitis, if left untreated can progress to periodontitis.
Signs of periodontitis are bone loss around teeth, increased gingival pocket depth greater than four millimetres, gum recession, bleeding gums, loose or mobile teeth, teeth which maybe tender when chewing as well as bad breath.
Patients are usually not aware of their condition until it is too late as initially there is not normally any pain until later stages. In late stage gum disease swelling, tenderness on chewing and pain become obvious. Treatment at late stage gum disease is difficult and teeth are often lost. It is critically important to treat gum problems at an early stage to prevent gum disease progressing.