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The word periodontal means "around the tooth". Periodontal diseases are a group of diseases that affect the gums and bone that support and anchor the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar), which begins to destroy the gums and bone.
Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, but there may also be a link to other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.