What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a serious oral health concern. If it's not treated, it can result in tooth loss. Gum disease is an infection of the gums and tissue. Early symptoms may be mild and may include bleeding or tender gums. As the condition gets worse, symptoms may include gum recession, swelling, and bad breath. 

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that people with gum disease are 50% more likely to have heart disease than people who have healthy gums. 

It might be one of the following factors that result in gum disease:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque around or between the teeth. When plaque is not removed through brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. This buildup can irritate the soft tissue and cause gingivitis to develop. Gingivitis is a mild stage of gum disease. However, if left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease.


Genetics is a big factor when it comes to gum disease. If you have a parent or sibling who has gum disease or tooth decay, then you may be at a higher risk.

Genetics can even play a role in the condition of your gums. If you have a genetic predisposition to a certain condition, then you may be at a higher risk.


Medical conditions such as diabetes can increase the risk of periodontal disease. This is because diabetes makes it more difficult for the body to regulate its blood sugar, and uncontrolled blood sugar is a factor in periodontal disease.

We recommend that patients with diabetes come in for twice-yearly dental appointments so that their dentist can monitor their oral health and administer preventative treatments if necessary.


Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, including nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. As people smoke, these chemicals get deposited onto the gums, teeth, and tongue. The nicotine in cigarettes reduces the blood supply to the gums, which makes it harder for your gums to repair themselves after dental work.

Smoking also irritates the gum tissue, causing gums to swell and bleed easily. Other chemicals, like carbon monoxide, are more likely to cause gum disease in smokers.

Hormone Shifts

Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause, are known to cause hormonal imbalances that, in turn, can lead to gum disease.

Medication Use

Several types of medication can cause dry mouth, which can result in gum disease. Over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, sedatives, and antihistamines are common types of medications that can cause dry mouth.

Poor Nutrition

It is well-known that poor nutrition leads to poor oral health. This includes vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, as well as minerals such as calcium and zinc. Some nutrient deficiencies can also affect the health of gum tissue, which can increase the chances of developing gum disease.

Please reach out to our dental practice in Walnut Creek, CA, to have a consultation with our Dentist Walnut Creek CA. Please call us at (925) 937-2273 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.

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