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Close-up of the gums & teeth of a person suffering from periodontal disease (diseases of structures supporting the teeth), showing the recession of gums on the lower jaw. The destruction of the gums (gingiva) in such a way as to reveal the roots of the teeth is a result of chronic gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Bacterial action produces plaque (tartar) which accumulates in & enlarges spaces between teeth & gums; the gums become swollen & bleed, & gum recession may begin. If untreated, the plaque may spread to & destroy the underlying periodontal membrane & alveolar bone; this would cause the teeth to loosen & eventually fall out.
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