The gums and underlying bone is the foundations on which the teeth rest. Gum disease is an infection of these tissues and if allowed to go unchecked, tooth loss can be inevitable. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this stage the condition is reversible with proper oral hygiene. If the disease is allowed to progress to periodontitis irreversible loss of soft tissue and bone may occur, leading to recession of the gums and loosening or loss of teeth. At this stage, deep cleaning of the area by a dental professional and appropriate home oral hygiene are necessary to halt disease progression. As the changes are mostly irreversible, early treatment is essential and it is important not to ignore early signs such as bleeding gums.