Periodontal disease is broken into two categories - gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis affects the gums and is considered reversible with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing. A person's overall health can cause gingivitis through an unhealthy diet, smoking or some health conditions that lower the body's immune response.
Periodontitis affects not only the gums but the bone and ligaments responsible for keeping the teeth attached. Periodontitis is considered irreversible but can be controlled through more frequent recalls (3-4 months instead of every 6 months), having a scaling and root planing procedure done, and maintenance appointments to monitor the disease. Once a person is diagnosed with periodontitis they will be labeled as having periodontal disease permanently due to the loss of bone and ligament attachment that cannot be regrown.