Gum disease, also called gingivitis or periodontal disease, can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage.

It begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. In the early stages, gums can bleed easily and become red and swollen.

As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist.

Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing.