Like most oral conditions, periodontitis is caused due to the accumulated plaque and tartar deposits. Plaque is a thin, transparent film of bacteria that forms all over the teeth. Over time, plaque turns into a dark, hard, sticky, and difficult-to-remove substance called tartar. Tartar contains thousands of bacteria that release harmful acids when they feed on the food debris in the mouth. These acids inflame and decay the gums.
In some instances, oral trauma can also lead to periodontitis. Injuries to the gums can cause cuts and bruises that expose the tissues to the microbes in the mouth. It starts as a mild condition called gingivitis, and eventually, advances to become periodontitis. Cavities and root canal infection can also cause gum diseases.