The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. When plaque is left to build up on the teeth the bacteria inside it creates toxins that are irritating to the gums. This irritation causes swelling, soreness, and bleeding of the gums. The disease is still reversible at this point, however, it must be treated before it progresses into a more severe condition. When left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontitis. During this advanced stage, the gums, bone, and teeth become damaged. Bone loss occurs which leads to receding gums. Teeth can become loose causing them to fall out or requiring them to be extracted. Unfortunately, this stage of gum disease is not reversible, however, it can be controlled.