Gingivitis and periodontitis
Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) is found in more than half of the adult population. Gingivitis is caused by dental plaque and the first signs are often irritated, swollen and bleeding gums. Gingivitis triggers an inflammatory process and if the inflammation is not treated it progresses deeper down in the gingival pockets and may lead to periodontitis, something that affects a third of all adults. Periodontitis is often chronic and may lead to loss of teeth.
Both caries and periodontitis originate from a disturbance in the balance and diversity of the biofilm. Contributing causes may be poor oral hygiene, incorrect diet, stress and/or other factors which affect the oral microflora. Caries is mainly caused by the presence of the bacterium mutans streptococci, which creates a low local pH environment which in turn de-mineralizes enamel.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can occur from time to time or be more or less permanent, depending on the cause. Some of the common causes are poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, respiratory tract infections or underlying illnesses like diabetes, kidney, liver or reflux disease.