Periodontitis is a disease of the periodontal apparatus which causes a degeneration of the gums and jaw bone, and possible tooth loss. This is caused by certain bacteria within the mouth. They multiply in dental plaque and cause gingivitis. Periodontitis is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (disease of the cardiac vessels), stroke (apoplexy), and premature contractions. Many treatment options are available if the disease is detected at an early stage. These options may stop the progress of the disease and therefore prevent tooth loss if the patient is compliant.