Gingivitis is the most common periodontal disease, affecting 90% of the population, including our local West Atlanta area community. It is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria that form plaque.
In small amounts (when it is newly formed), plaque is invisible and relatively harmless. But when left to accumulate, it increases in volume and the proportion of harmful bacteria grows.
These bacteria release toxins that result in inflammation of the gum tissue. Eventually, the plaque hardens and forms hard deposits called calculus or tartar.
If not properly treated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, a periodontal disease in which there is loss of the bone that supports the teeth.