The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If caught early, the effects of gingivitis can be stopped, and the symptoms reversed. However, once gum disease progresses past a certain point, it becomes a chronic condition you will have for the rest of your life.
Symptoms of gingivitis can include red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss and bad breath. When gum disease progresses, symptoms can range from gums that appear to pull away from the teeth to bone loss causing your teeth to become loose.