Periodontal Disease, commonly known as gum disease, is medically referred to as Periodontitis. It is an inflammatory condition caused by your body’s response to long term (chronic) exposure to dental bacteria (dental plaque). If you leave plaque on your teeth for longer than two or 3 days, you will develop an acute condition called gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). You can treat this condition by cleaning your teeth thoroughly and seeing a dentist or hygienist for tooth cleaning. If you don’t keep gingivitis controlled, you begin to develop periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs when your system has been trying to fight off the plaque bacteria for so long that your immune response begins to damage your gum tissue and the bone that supports your teeth. If you have certain health problems such as diabetes or if you smoke, you are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Once you have periodontal disease, your doctor will need to use more advanced techniques to control it and allow you to regain the health of your mouth.