Gum diseases may be simple inflammation or serious ones causing major damage to the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth. These diseases are caused by bacteria that reside in the mouth. Acids readily form in our teeth a few minutes after eating. A mixture of bacteria, mucus and other particles forms the plaque that covers the teeth surface. Plaque can be removed by simple brushing and flossing but there are areas that cannot be easily reached. When plaque hardens into tartar, a yellow or brown mineral buildup, it can irritate the gum tissues thus causing cavities and gum diseases.