There are several diseases that your teeth and gums can present with. Some of the most common of these are Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease, otherwise known as "gum disease". Gingivitis is when a person's gum tissue directly in contact with the tooth is red, swollen and irritated. Proper at home care, which should include bi-daily brushing, flossing nightly, rinsing with ADA approved antiseptic mouthwash, and regular dental visits every six months can greatly reduce a person's risk of gingivitis.
Periodontal disease is a more serious condition that ultimately will lead to tooth loss. Being a much more serious condition it require therapeutic intervention. When diagnosed with periodontal disease, your dentist will perform Scaling and Root Planning sometimes referred to as "Deep Cleaning" or "Scrapping". The purpose of Scaling and Root Planning is to completely remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your teeth and the gum pockets. After, your dentist may smooth the root surfaces of your teeth to prevent more bacteria from attaching and intensifying the condition. In serious cases, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for further treatment.