Gum disease is very common. Seven out of 10 Canadians will develop gum disease in their lives. This disease usually progresses painlessly over time until its advanced stages. In the advanced stages there is often infections, pain, and tooth loss. Gum disease starts when plaque sticks to the tooth and gums. The gums become red and puffy and will bleed when brushing or flossing. This early stage is often referred to as “gingivitis”. The dentist can help determine if you have gum disease and then help you manage the disease if you can. The easiest way to prevent this disease is to brush and floss regularly as well as visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.