The buildup of plaque and bacteria around the teeth and gums causes gum disease. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and can harden into tartar if not removed. Tartar can cause inflammation of the gums, leading to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Gingivitis (if left untreated) can progress to periodontitis, which can cause the loss of teeth and damage to the jawbone.

Factors that increase the risk of gum disease include poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes in women, and genetic predisposition. It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Brushing twice daily and visiting a dentist for regular check-ups (to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup) is mandatory to avoid gum disease.