Plaque is a sticky white film of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth about every 24 hours. If thorough plaque removal isn’t achieved, carbohydrates and sugary foods mix with the plaque to form acid. This acid begins to destroy the outer layer of the tooth for 20 minutes or so starting a cavity. The acid also starts to destroy the gum tissue causing bleeding gums. This is the first stage of periodontal disease, called gingivitis. If plaque is allowed to accumulate on the teeth, it eventually hardens into tarter or calculus. If left untreated, the bacteria starts to destroy the bone underneath the gums. This is called periodontal disease. If the bacteria and calculus aren’t professionally removed, periodontal disease can progress to the point where teeth loosen and fall out.