Gum disease (a.k.a. periodontitis) is an infection that happens in your gums. Once it occurs it can damage your gums and the structure that's responsible for supporting your tooth, which is why it's also possible for you to end up losing some of your teeth.
This is why as soon as you notice that you have any of the signs that are commonly associated with having gum disease or we bring them to your attention, you should immediately work with us to rectify the issue.
What to Watch For The good news is you don't have to wait until your next dental appointment to determine if you have gum disease. This is something you can be on the lookout for when you're performing your oral hygiene routine at home – something which you should be doing at least twice daily anyway, and which should include flossing and brushing so you'll have a good, up close view of your own teeth.
While maintaining good oral hygiene, you should be on the lookout for things like red or swollen gums (even the fact that your gums are tender or bleeding is important because this isn't “normal”), loose or sensitive teeth, and receding gums or teeth that look longer than the other teeth near them in your mouth.
Even if you don't notice these things while maintaining good oral hygiene, there are also some things you can be on the lookout for throughout the rest of your day as well. For instance, you probably already realize that it shouldn't hurt for you to chew food, but you may not realize that this could be a sign of gum disease and so you should make sure that you bring it to our attention at your next dental appointment. The same is also true of persistent bad breath.