ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Close-up of the mouth of a man showing evidence of gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums which become swollen, red & bleed easily. The lower gum of this man is severely swollen, nearly obscuring the row of teeth. Gingivitis is caused by poor dental hygiene, in particular failure to brush the teeth regularly & adequately. Particles of food lodge in the spaces between the teeth, or gums & teeth, causing a build up of bacteria, which leads to infection. If untreated, chronic periodonititis may develop, a condition in which the teeth become loosened & fall out.
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