What is periodontal disease?

Dental plaque is the sole cause of periodontal disease (gum disease), namely gingivitis and periodontitis.

Periodontal diseases:

  • Inflammation and infections of the periodontium (the tissue supporting the tooth) are called gingivitis and periodontitis, of which there are various types.
  • Periodontitis is the medical term for « receding gums ».

What form do periodontal diseases take?

  • Dental plaque (accumulation of bacteria) is the agent responsible for the development of periodontal diseases.
  • Plaque is deposited between each tooth brushing session. When the brushingtechnique is inadequate or ineffective, plaque starts to accumulate under the gum.
  • The body tries to defend itself against bacteria and produces an inflammatory defence reaction inside the gum against these bacteria: this is the gingivitis  phase of the disease.
  • Gingivitis can go unnoticed for years.
  • Under the cumulative effect of periodontal risk factors and build-up of plaque, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis and affect the deep periodontal tissue.


As the periodontium poorly innervated (much less than a tooth), gingivitis and periodontitis are not very painful and can develop in the background without being noticed.

The warning signs are bleeding, bad breath, and loose and drifting teeth.

The treatment of all these diseases is called periodontal treatment.