Gum disease begins as a minor inflammation of the gums, which is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is easy to treat, but if it goes untreated it can progress to more advanced gum disease, periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissues in your mouth and can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. This can then lead to teeth that become loose or even the loss of teeth.
It is important to treat gum disease because it is linked to other serious health conditions, such as heart disease. In fact, people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to also have heart disease. Studies have shown that the bacteria that cases gum disease can enter the blood stream and can lead to cardiovascular disease. Gum disease can be treated and maintained, however. In the beginning stages, a professional cleaning may be enough to relieve your gum inflammation.