Another name for the painful condition of periodontal disease is "Gingivitis", a red swelling of your gums that surround your teeth. This is just one of several oral diseases that can affect your overall oral health. As well, the "periodontal" is another name for teeth & will include your gums, soft tissue, and bone.
If you have not taken care of your oral hygiene, or have not seen a dentist in quite some time, these ailments may cause long lasting damage to your entire mouth, and become systemic, meaning leading to other issues in your body due to infection.
Gum diseases are usually rated according how severe they have become. This disease can be labeled "mild", where you have very little symptoms all the way to extremely severe gum disease. There is another much more rare but very serious l level of the disease, which actually kills the gums surrounding your teeth and has been know to be a threat to your life.
What causes this? Germs, bacteria, poor oral hygiene can all be a contributing factor. Bacteria can certainly cause very bad inflammation of the gums.
Your mouth is susceptible to helping bacteria thrive as it is a moist environment, which promotes bacteria to survive. Simply by eating a meal, the food encourages germs to live and multiply. An infection begins when the body's immune system is overwhelmed. The gum disease of gingivitis is an infection that occurs when bacteria invade soft tissues and potentially bone adjacent to teeth. The severity of this infection varies from mild to severe or life-threatening.