Slow, but progressive, periodontal disease swells the gingiva and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. Once the bone is lost, it does not regenerate. It may be generalized affecting all of your teeth or localized, affecting one tooth. This disease affects both men and women of all ethnicities from teen years through adulthood. In its early stages, you will be unaware of its presence. Dental hygiene habits, medications, smoking, alcohol, diet, general health or heredity may play a role in its progression. Initial symptoms of the disease may include swollen gums that bleed when you brush and an odor to your breath. Symptoms can advance to loosening and shifting of teeth and their eventual loss.