A Answers (3)
If you don't brush and floss effectively, you leave bacteria between your teeth that can cause infection and disease. This leads to gingivitis that, if left untreated, progresses into periodontitis which destroys the bones and soft tissue around your teeth. Your teeth may become loose and have to be extracted.
American Dental Association answered
Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease worsens, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are destroyed. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.
It can be hard to know if you have periodontal disease. That's why good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups and periodontal exams are so important.
If you notice swelling and redness in the tissues around your teeth, you may have periodontitis, a form of periodontal disease. Talk to your dentist right away if you notice these symptoms. Periodontitis occurs when plaque by-products lead to the destruction of the tissues that anchor teeth in the bone. As the disease progresses, pockets form and allow more plaque to collect below the gum line. Tooth roots are exposed and may become at risk for decay and are sensitive to cold and touch. In advanced periodontitis, the teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone. Unless treated, the affected teeth frequently become loose and may fall out or require removal by a dentist.
Partha Mukherji, Dentistry, answered
Gingivitis if left untreated will progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is classified from mild to severe (or advanced periodontitis.) If left untreated periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease, or periodontitis is diagnosed quantitatively (measuring of "pocket depths", clinical attachment levels, etc.), qualitatively, and radiographically (evidence of bone loss on x-rays, presence of radiographic calculus, etc.)
Initial stage periodontal therapy includes scaling and root planing which can be done at a general dentist or periodontist office. A referral to a periodontist (gum disease specialist) may be warranted also.