Periodontal disease is an infection of the areas in the mouth that support the teeth. This includes the gums, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone.
Commonly referred to as gum disease, gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, and it primarily affects just the gums. The bad news is that if it is ignored, this early stage of gum disease can rapidly progress into the far more serious advanced stage, known as periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis can cause irreparable damage, and, in the worst cases, lead to bone and tooth loss.