Your gums are just as important to overall mouth health as your teeth are. Taking care of your gums means brushing and flossing your teeth, and making sure that they stay healthy. If you notice your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, you may have gingivitis, but if you notice them changing to a different color or feel tender to the touch, you could have periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an infection within the gums that can make the tissue feel painful. If left untreated, the infection can spread to teeth and bone, which would have dire consequences. Treatment for periodontitis consists of an exam, probing the gums and x-rays to check severity of the disease, and scaling and root planing to remove the bacteria so the gums can heal. Afterward, an antibiotic medication may be prescribed to heal the infection and prevent it from returning in the future.