The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy, daily cleaning is required in the form of brushing and flossing.
If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Toxins (or poisons) produced by the bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums. The toxins destroy supporting tissues around the teeth. Gums then pull away from the teeth, forming pockets which then fill up with more plaque.
As gum disease progresses, the pockets continue to become deeper and deeper. Consequently, plaque continues to move further down the roots of the teeth damaging the bone which support them. Unless treated, the affected teeth can become loose and eventually may be lost.
Bacterial deposits, plaque, as well as tartar build up on the teeth due to inadequate brushing and flossing, or professional cleanings, will eventually lead to periodontal disease and bone loss.