There are different therapies for gum disease depending on the severity of the case. A mild form of gum disease is called gingivitis. This happens when bacteria, plaque, and tartar are not removed from teeth leading to red, bleeding and swollen gums. This can be treated by seeing your dentist for a cleaning every 6 months and brushing and flossing two times a day for two minutes each time.
A more advanced form of gum disease is known as periodontal disease. This is when bacteria, plaque, and tartar are present in the pocket or space between the tooth and gums. If left untreated this can destroy gum tissue and bone leading to recession, swollen and bleeding gums, bone loss around the tooth, and eventual tooth loss. A procedure by your dentist or hygienist called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) is done to remove the bacteria and prevent bone loss and subsequent tooth loss. In some severe cases, you may have to see a gum specialist called a periodontist to treat the periodontal disease by surgical procedures.