Gingivitis is a term for the earliest stages of gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease. With gingivitis, there is typically no pain for the patient. Symptoms include swelling of the gums and a tenderness of the gums. Your gums may look very red and swollen. You may experience frequent bleeding of your gums, especially when you brush your teeth. Because you experience no pain with gingivitis, you may be tempted to ignore the symptoms. If gingivitis is ignored, it will progress into what is known as periodontitis. Periodontitis refers to when the infection has spread to the connective tissues holding your tooth to your gums. Your gums will recede and there will be pain and significant bleeding. If left untreated, periodontitis will result in the loss of your natural teeth and you will need restorative procedures such as dental implants. Gingivitis exposes more of your teeth to bacteria and makes your mouth a more vulnerable ground for tooth decay. You may experience constant bad breath, known as halitosis. The best way to fight gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Practice good oral hygiene at home and visit your dentist regularly for check ups and clean ups. If you are already experiencing symptoms of gum disease, consult your dentist in Bath as quickly as possible to stop the problem before severe complications arise.