If caught early, gingivitis can be treated fairly easily and effectively. A small mirror and a probing tool is used to spot bleeding gums. The more spots that bleed, the more likely your gum disease is severe. Hard mineral deposits (tartar) above and below the gum line are a problem area that is usually addressed during this treatment, as are areas where your gums are pulling away from your teeth and pockets have formed between your teeth and gums. Deeper pockets indicate severe gum disease. Paper strips may be inserted into the spaces between your teeth and gums to measure the amount of fluid present. The amount of fluid indicates how much swelling and inflammation you have. X-rays of your teeth may be taken to look for bone damage and other problems.