If you ever think that your mouth will never get “sick”, you are wrong! Periodontal disease is quite common and can occur at any age. It begins with plaque buildup on and between teeth and can quickly develop. Plaque is caused by food and bacteria that accumulate on teeth after eating. If not removed by brushing, gums can become inflamed. This is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated, gums will recede. This causes small pockets to form, making brushing increasingly difficult at the bottom of the teeth. Plaque is cleaned by brushing and flossing regularly. If not, it will harden and form tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist. This disease can cause bad breath, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, and even tooth loss if left untreated. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to prevent and treat periodontal disease.