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Gum disease, or more correctly called “periodontal disease”, is a bacterial infection in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can be divided into several stages.
The first stage is called “gingivitis” and affects 90% of the population. It is characterized by red, puffy gum tissue that bleeds easily when touched with a toothbrush, floss or a dental instrument. If not treated, it will lead to more serious stages.
The second, third, and fourth stages are initial, moderate, and advanced “periodontal disease”, respectively. These stages are different from gingivitis because the infection has destroyed the bone supporting the teeth, causing eventual tooth loss. At these stages, the treatment is more involved, usually consisting of a special cleaning with anesthesia and sometimes gum surgery.