Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is when chronic inflammation has caused bone loss around the teeth.  Patients typically notice pain, redness, bleeding, and irritation of the gums.  In more advanced stages, gum disease can lead to recession of gums, movement of teeth, gap and spaces forming between teeth, and eventually tooth loss.  Mild to moderate gum disease is treated with a deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planing.  Dental anesthetic is commonly used for your comfort.  Using basic cleaning instruments, all accessible calculus build up is removed from tooth surfaces below your gum line.  This non-surgical procedure is not painful and involves no cutting of your gums.