Bacteria in Dental Plaque
The primary cause of periodontitis is bacteria in dental plaque. Dental plaque, which is a mix of the bacteria, mucus and other particles, forms and settles on and around the teeth. The immune system attempts to eradicate the bacteria, which can lead to inflammation in the area and can potentially cause damage to the gums, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and cementum.
Brushing and flossing the teeth regularly helps to remove plaque but it soon starts to build up once again after they have been cleaned. Therefore poor oral hygiene is associated with the development of periodontitis.