There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs of periodontal disease that many people ignore. Gingivitis usually appears during the beginning stages of periodontal disease and often goes unnoticed—unless it’s identified by a dental professional. Untreated gingivitis eventually leads to periodontitis, which breaks down the bones and tissues that support the teeth.
Treating periodontal disease depends on the type and severity of condition. If your dentist is able to catch the condition early enough, there are steps that can be taken to remove plaque through procedures like scaling and root planing. Other conservative, non-invasive approaches include prescribing medications and oral mouth rinses to kill bacteria in the mouth. In more serious cases, surgery or grafting procedures may be required to stop periodontal disease from spreading.