During this more advanced stage, the bacterial irritation causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. Instead of a snug fit, the loose tissue now forms pockets that collect more plaque bacteria. The infection, which is sometimes painless, can destroy gum tissue and the bone that supports teeth. Unless periodontitis is treated, teeth may become loose, fall out, or they may need to be removed.
Recent research suggests there may be a link between gum disease and other health concerns such as cardiovascular problems, stroke, diabetes, bacterial pneumonia and increased risk during pregnancy.