Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link
Periodontitis: From Plaque to Tooth Loss

Periodontitis: From Plaque to Tooth Loss

Healthy gums and bone hold the tooth firmly in place.

Periodontitis: From Plaque to Tooth Loss

Plaque buildup irritates the gums, and they become inflamed ( gingivitis Gingivitis Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease characterized by inflammation of the gums (gingivae). Gingivitis results most often from inadequate brushing and flossing but may result from... read more Gingivitis ). In time, the gums pull away from the tooth, creating a pocket that fills with more plaque.

Periodontitis: From Plaque to Tooth Loss

The pockets get deeper, and the plaque hardens into tartar. More plaque accumulates on top.

Periodontitis: From Plaque to Tooth Loss

Bacterial infection moves down to the root of the tooth and eventually destroys the bone supporting the tooth. Without this support, the tooth loosens and falls out or requires extraction because of a periodontal abscess.

Periodontitis: From Plaque to Tooth Loss