Periodontitis is a disease of the gums and causes a majority of the tooth loss in adults. The sad part is that over 90% of the cases are preventable. Periodontitis is caused by an interaction of bacteria which reside on the teeth and the body’s immune system. The bacteria adhere to the teeth by a sticky substance called dental plaque. The plaque protects the bacteria from antibodies in saliva, thus allowing the disease to progress. Simply by removing the dental plaque everyday would stop the disease dead in its tracks. Mild periodontitis is the first step past gingivitis, a reddening of the gums. It is marked by easily bleeding gums, especially when brushing the teeth. If good oral hygiene measures are initiated, many times the disease process can be reversed. Moderate periodontitis is accompanied by some bone loss. If caught at this time a procedure called scaling and root planing can be helpful in stopping the disease progression. From this point on, any bone damage is irreversible, so it is best to catch things as early as possible. Severe periodontitis is the point where the teeth will loosen and tooth loss can occur. These cases usually require surgery to give the sufferer access to all of the affected areas for the purposes of oral hygiene. Due to the irreversibility of the bone loss, it is always best to put the disease in check by daily home care and frequent professional checkups.