Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that causes damage to the gums and bone that can eventually jeopardize the health of your teeth. Healthy gums are typically pink in color. Some symptoms of periodontitis can include red, swollen gums, gums that recede from the teeth, loose teeth, and bad breath. In some cases, the infection may be deep below the surface and may appear to have few external symptoms. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to significant gum recession and bone loss, which can then cause tooth loss and serious health problems -- including increased risk of heart disease. Periodontitis is a disease, but its effects can be stopped and reversed with proper treatment. Once your doctor has restored your mouth to a healthy state, further complications can be prevented with regular dental appointments and proper home care.