Unfortunately, nearly half of all adults develop some type of periodontitis, also known as gum disease. This is often the result of poor flossing habits that allow bacteria and plaque to manifest between teeth and cause serious harm. A person may recognize periodontitis in its early stages by slightly swollen and darkened gums that may begin to bleed during brushing and flossing. When this occurs, the gums will soon begin to pull away from the teeth, and periodontal pockets will form. These can become filled with tartar and plaque, which will allow the condition to spread throughout the rest of the mouth. If the condition reaches the jawbone and the connective tissues of teeth, tooth loss can follow. The best way to treat periodontitis is to clean out the infested pockets before serious damage occurs. And if the condition does reach the jawbone, then the goal becomes to reverse the damage.