Pyria gum disease, also known as periodontitis, causes the gums to retreat from the teeth and form empty pockets. Periodontal disease can cause gums to appear red, swollen and receding, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gingivitis. Periodontitis occurs when plaque and bacteria build up on the teeth. This overgrowth of bacteria irritates the gums, making them inflamed. The gums may bleed, and bad breath may be present. As the disease progresses, the gum and bone pull back from the teeth, forming pockets. Bacteria and toxins infect the pockets and break down the bone and connective tissue in the mouth. These infections are the most common cause of adult tooth loss, according to WebMD.
A 2009 and 2010 study indicated that 47.2 percent of people over 30 had some degree of periodontal disease, and the prevalence of the disease increased with age, explains the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC works with the American Academy of Periodontology and the American Dental Association to create screening measures for periodontal disease during dentist visits.
Diabetics, people with gingivitis, people with HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy patients, tobacco users and people who practice poor oral hygiene are at a high risk of periodontitis, states Mayo Clinic. Regular brushing and flossing reduces the risk. The risk of periodontitis is reduced when the patient has regular cleanings at the dentist, reports MedlinePlus.