Gum disease, or periodontal disease, occurs when bacteria infect your gum tissue. It can lead to swelling, pain, bleeding and, in its later stages, tooth loss. It may also increase your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other serious afflictions.
If caught early, gum disease can be reversed with professional cleanings and good oral hygiene at home. More advanced cases may require a deep-cleaning technique called scaling and root planing. Watch this video from the ADA to learn about this procedure.