Gum disease, or periodontal disease, affects millions of people worldwide. In some cases, symptoms can be very minor, presenting at slight gum swelling or bleeding when flossing. In other cases, patients may experience severe pain and discomfort. Either way, it is important to contact the dentist at the very first signs of gum disease, because studies show that ignoring these findings can cause major pathology for years to come. There have been studies which prove a relationship between periodontal disease and cardiac complications.