Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth. If plaque is left on your teeth, it can harden into tarter, which you will not be able to brush and floss off. Early gum disease is called gingivitis and is reversible with good oral hygiene. Advance gum disease is called periodontitis and requires periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing) below the gum line to remove the build up of plaque and tarter. Gum disease often leads to bad breath. Advanced gum disease can lead to bone loss and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.