Pyorrhea is an advanced form of periodontal disease that causes damage and infection to the bones surrounding the teeth. Proper dental care can help avoid pyorrhea from developing, and can also treat the effects of the condition. It is caused by a variety of health factors, and may not be limited to dental-related causes. Periodontitis is caused by a build-up of bacteria on the teeth and gums. Although this is a fairly common condition, advanced forms can lead to tissue and bone loss. If untreated, the bone loss can become irreparable, leading to the loosening and possible loss of teeth. The causes of severe peridontitis include increased bacteria caused by smoking or improper dental care, excessive consumption of sugar or poor nutrition. People with certain health conditions may also be prone to pyorrhea, including those with genetic blood disorders. An insufficient amount of some vitamins and minerals can also cause dental issues, particularly calcium, niacin and folic acid deficiencies. Symptoms of pyorrhea are related to those of gingivitis and are most visible on the gums. Gums may appear purple or red and have a shiny surface. Gum pain is not a normal symptom, but gums may be tender to the touch and will bleed regularly when brushed. Swelling of the gums is also common in some patients.