Gum Disease, also known as periodontal disease, is when there is an infection of the teeth, gums and the surrounding bone. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss which is why it is so important to maintain proper oral hygiene and consistently visit the dentist for cleanings and checkups. When plaque accumulates on your teeth and in your gums and is not removed the bacteria in the plaque gets into the spaces between your teeth and gums. Bacteria produce toxins which destroy the bone around your teeth. Without the bone there is no support for the tooth and they become loose and eventually have to be removed. At LCI Dentistry one of our greatest concerns is controlling periodontal disease and halting any further bone loss and subsequent tooth loss. Some of the signs of periodontal disease are persistent bad breath, soft or swollen gums, bleeding while brushing and flossing, gums pulling away from teeth or loose teeth. X-rays are the most telling method to determine the severity of periodontal disease and how far it has progressed. This is one of the many reasons why it is so crucial to visit your dentist for regular checkups.