Untreated gingivitis can progress to gum disease that spreads to underlying tissue and bone (periodontitis), a much more serious condition that can lead to tooth loss.

Periodontitis and poor oral health in general may also affect your overall health. It's not completely understood — and researchers haven't established whether periodontal disease actually causes any of these conditions — but having periodontitis may be associated with:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Lung disease
  • Premature birth or having a baby with low birth weight, in women
Jan. 22, 2014