Gum disease – also called periodontitis – is a bacterial infection caused by plaque and tartar that damages the gums, bone, and other structures that support your teeth. You can prevent periodontitis by regular brushing and flossing as well as scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, a common condition that is usually detected by inflammation of the gums and minor bleeding during brushing and flossing as well as mild pain and occasional bad breath. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria seeping under the gum line, but can be controlled with proper oral health and regular dental appointments.
Other symptoms of gum disease are loose teeth, receding gums, red inflamed gums that are sore to touch, and frequent bad breath.