Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that causes permanent damage to the bone that holds your teeth in. It is usually a slow progressing disease, but is the #1 cause of tooth loss. Gum disease also increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It cannot be cured, but it can be treated and stopped from getting worse with treatment your hygienist can provide. More frequent cleanings are needed to keep gum disease stable. Dr. Chandler and your hygienist will let you know if they recommend 3 or 4 cleanings per year.