Periodontitis is caused by a build-up of plaque, a colourless bacterial film which forms on the teeth. This build-up can lead to gum inflammation, which is known as gingivitis and is fairly common among children and adults. When gums become compromised, the seal between the teeth and gums opens and the bacterial infection deepens into the tissue. This can cause severe damage to the underlying bone and periodontal ligament and if left untreated will result in tooth loss. Preventing gingivitis and periodontitis is best done through practising good oral hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist.