Periodontal disease is a gradual and ongoing infection of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. It begins with gingivitis, which is inflammation and irritation of the gingiva, which makes up the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which can lead to tissue recession, bone loss, and ultimately, tooth loss. In periodontitis, the inflammation may spread to involve deeper portions of the gingiva, the connective tissue fibers that attach the tooth to the gingiva, and ultimately the supporting bone. Your body’s immune system is constantly trying to fight off this infection. The imbalance of your body’s immune response and the bacteria causing this inflammatory process leads to further destruction.