What causes periodontitis?

What causes periodontitis?


Periodontitis is caused by bacteria that accumulates predominantly in or at the gaps between your teeth. If these bacteria are not regularly removed, the body reacts with inflammation; this normally results in bleeding gums. If this gum inflammation (gingivitis) is not treated, it can develop into periodontitis: The inflammation – which is initially only superficial – becomes chronic and begins to attack the connective tissues around the teeth and bones. In addition to bleeding, this causes receding gums and the erosion of the jaw bone, which can lead to loose teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.


The course of the illness varies greatly from patient to patient. The immune system of the affected person plays a major role. People with an intact immune system are at less risk of suffering from periodontitis.


Periodontitis – the warning signs:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen and reddened gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth necks
  • Bad breath
  • Drifting and loosening of teeth
Bacteria causes gum inflammation
Bacteria causes gum inflammation


Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of the development and progression of periodontitis: Ongoing stress, certain underlying conditions such as diabetes, poor nutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and – above all – smoking.


Smokers are far more likely to suffer from periodontitis than non-smokers.

The progression of periodontitis is significantly more serious in smokers; tissue is degraded much more quickly than in non-smokers. This means that their teeth become loose and fall out faster. Typical symptoms such as swollen, bleeding, and red gums are suppressed by the effects of nicotine.


Smokers are less likely to address the topic of treatment for periodontitis than non-smokers.