Periodontal disease is mainly caused by dental plaque and the bacteria that forms it. These bacteria form a sticky film that constantly coat your teeth; and if not properly removed by thorough brushing and flossing, can harden into rough calculus or tartar. The bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that can irritate the gums and cause them to bleed, swell, and turn red. If not properly cared for, the gums will remain irritated and they will begin to separate from the teeth and form pockets. When left untreated, the disease advances which causes bone and supporting tissues to break down and may lead to tooth loss and severe recession.


If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into more severe gum disease and lead to more tooth loss and recession. At Brixton Family Dental we make sure to monitor your periodontal health throughout your appointments and record our findings to make sure we treat the source of the problems before they progress to a more advanced stage. Deeper than normal periodontal pocket depths and attachment levels may indicate active disease, which is why it is important to routinely visit a dentist.

Active disease may have any or multiple of the following symptoms:

  • Tooth loss or mobility
  • Bad Breath (Halitosis)
  • Gum recession and attachment loss
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bone loss seen on x-rays
  • Heavy tartar and plaque buildup

Although flossing and brushing are extremely important to the health of your gums and teeth, there may be an underlying problem if it seems like bleeding and other symptoms aren’t improving. It is possible that active disease may be developing in an area that floss and brushes can’t reach, which is why it is important to receive professional care routinely.


The active bacterial infection causing gum disease has been scientifically proven to reduce the immune response and allow the spread of bacteria through the cardiovascular system. This can cause many problems throughout your body especially if you are dealing with existing issues. Managing existing problems become much more difficult to manage as the gum infection progresses. These problems can include:

  • High blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Sleep apnea or obesity
  • Premature labor