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What can gum disease (periodontal disease) lead to?

While the mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, can be reversed, there are other types of periodontal diseases that can have more serious consequences.

For instance, chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone and may occur in some areas of the mouth, or in the entire mouth.

Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases are going on now. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or stroke. 
Gum disease can eventually lead to loss of bone and teeth.

Diabetics are at risk of more severe periodontal disease (periodontitis). There is more rapid loss of periodontal tissues particularly if the diabetes is poorly controlled. Individuals should be encouraged to maintain an effective oral hygiene programme and see the dentist at regular intervals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.