Inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis. Bacteria in plaque around the teeth release enzymes (collagenases) that can damage and erode the gum tissues. The infected gums swell, bleed easily, recede, and loosen from the teeth. Tooth loss is caused more frequently by gum disease than tooth decay.
Update Date: 5/28/2008
Updated by: Jason S. Baker, DMD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Private Practice, Yonkers, New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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