DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gingivitis. Close-up of swollen, inflamed receding gums around uneven teeth in the lower jaw. This is due to gingivitis, a chronic inflammation of the gums. Dental plaque (a sticky deposit of bacteria, mucus and food particles) builds up on the teeth. Toxins produced by the bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can damage tissue around the tooth base, leading to formation of pockets where plaque collects. This can eventually cause periodontitis, (as here) an advanced stage of gum disease where the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth become eroded loosening teeth. Treatment involves good oral hygiene and removal of diseased tissue.
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