Gum disease is often to referred to as periodontitis in the medical community; is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gums and surrounding tissues. The infection may worsen in the presence of plaque and tartar and create an infected 'well' surrounding the infected tooth. If this pocket gets wider, the infection can spread to the tissues surrounding the tooth and add to loss of the alveolar bone containing the tooth sockets. If left untreated over time gum disease may lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.
To reduce the risk of developing gum disease, it's essential to remove plaque and tartar by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and maintaining regular checkups with your dentist.