Also known as gum disease…this is a serious infection in your gums that is mainly caused by bacterial plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, it can turn to tartar—a hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist. When left in your mouth, plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of your gums which can develop into infections below the gum line causing the gum to separate from your teeth creating pockets that become infected and can even fill with pus. As the pockets deepen and the disease becomes more pronounced, bone and gum tissue are destroyed which can ultimately result in tooth loss. And periodontal disease is stealthy…usually giving no or very few signs of its existence. Regular dental checkups can detect periodontal disease at even its earliest stages.