Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it begins as gum inflammation and irritation. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. Signs of gum disease include bleeding of the gums when brushing and flossing, as well as pain, swelling, and redness of the gums.
As the disease progresses irreversible tissue damage can occur, eventually causing the gums to pull away from the teeth as bacteria flourishes below the gumline. Left untreated, gum disease can form deep pockets of infection, which can cause shifting or loose teeth. It is important to be proactive with gum disease treatment in the earliest stages to avoid severe dental issues later on.