Alert

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. Long-term infection of the gums, bone, and other tissues that surround and support the teeth causes periodontal disease.

  • Healthy gums are pink, firm, and do not bleed easily.
  • Gingivitis is periodontal disease in its mild, early stage. Symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen gums that bleed easily when brushed. Because pain is not usually a symptom of gingivitis, treatment may not be prompt.
  • Periodontitis is periodontal disease in its later, more serious stage. Symptoms of periodontitis are gums pulling away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets where bacteria can hide and cause further damage. Periodontitis can progress until it damages the bones that support the teeth. Teeth may become loose and fall out or need removal (extraction).

Early treatment of gum disease may prevent more severe disease, which is harder to treat. Brushing and flossing regularly help prevent periodontal disease.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Healthwise Symptom Checker Logo

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.