Gingivitis is a reversible gum disease that is usually recognized by the appearance of red, swollen gums. It can be easily treated with a thorough dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Periodontal disease is an oral disease that develops primarily from lack of proper brushing and flossing, often resulting in gum recession, bone loss and subsequent tooth loss. Early signs that you may have periodontal disease include redness of the gums, bleeding gums during flossing or brushing, and chronic bad breath.

Treatment of gum disease depends on the type and stage of the disease.

If gingivitis is not treated it can progress to periodontitis. This is a more advanced stage of gum disease that affects the underlying bone. The most common treatment is scaling and root planing. It includes cleaning the teeth above and below the gum line and the use of ultrasonic instruments and hand instruments. It is a conservative treatment that does not require surgery. Advanced cases of periodontal disease may require gum surgery if the tissue cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment.