These foundational parts of the mouth are called the periodontium. If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t caused damage to the deeper supporting structures, this is called gingivitis. A professional cleaning can help with this. If the inflammation is left untreated, however, and these supporting tissues become inflamed or infected from bacteria and plaque, it can result in periodontitis, or periodontal disease. Since this is a chronic, long term condition, bone loss results. The overall health of the mouth and the body become at risk, just like a bad foundation threatens the structural integrity of a home.