What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Posted by Fay Hu DMD on Dec 7 2022, 08:00 AM

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque buildup. This is reversible by brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings. It means you have bacteria building up on your teeth and causing irritation. Untreated gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, which affects the supporting tissue and bone surrounding your teeth. Your teeth can become loose or fall out. The gums will begin to pull away from the tooth and even form spaces called pockets. More severe forms of gum disease can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and low birth weight in babies.

Here are the common factors that lead to gum disease:

Bad Oral Hygiene Habits

Bad oral hygiene habits are the most common cause of gum disease. Bacteria love food particles on your teeth, so by cleaning your mouth after you eat, you can prevent them from settling in your mouth and causing problems.

You can start with practicing good oral health habits, such as brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day. Make sure to also visit your dentist for regular checkups – this can help prevent cavities and other issues that can lead to gum disease.


Smoking is one of the most significant causes of gum disease because it increases plaque buildup and can cause gum recession. In fact, smoking causes more cases of gum disease than not brushing your teeth at all! Tobacco use also makes it harder for your gums to heal after they have been damaged. Smokers are at a significantly higher risk for receding gums, tooth discoloration, bad breath, and many other oral health problems. If you smoke, we strongly recommend that you quit improving your overall health and well-being. 

Certain Medications

Some medications can be harmful to your gums, especially if you take them long-term or in large doses. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about potential side effects from a prescription you’re taking, including dry mouth and gum inflammation. If you can’t switch medications, talk to your dentist about whether gum disease prevention products can help offset any negative effects.

Hormonal Changes in Women

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or menopause can cause gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. While hormones affect the entire body, they can also affect the body’s response to bacteria in the mouth, causing a serious infection that damages the gums and supporting bone structure. If gum disease is not treated quickly, tooth loss can occur.

To learn more about our dental procedures, make an appointment with Fay Hu, DMD. At Fay Hu DMD General Dentistry, located at 800 West Morse Blvd, Suite 3B, Winter Park, FL 32789, we serve patients with the best quality treatment. You can schedule an appointment by calling 407-647-3223. We guarantee the best and highest-quality care.

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