8 Causes of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, is a disease that affects nearly half of all adults in the United States.

If you have swollen, puffy, or inflamed gums, you may very well have gum disease.

There are two main types of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is more common, and periodontitis happens less frequently and is more severe.

In most cases, plaque is what causes gum diseases, but there are several other things that could be the reason for your gum disease as well.

In the article below, we will talk about eight common causes of gum disease.

Table of Contents

1. Family History

You might just be unlucky.

Similar to several other diseases, like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, your gum disease might be hereditary.

If you have a history of gum disease in your family, tell your dentist even if you aren't showing any signs of it.

Having a family history of gum disease can put you at a heightened risk for it, and your dentist can help you manage that risk.

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2. Plaque

Gum disease is most often caused by plaque.

Plaque is a thick film of bacteria that forms on gums and teeth that daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing removes.

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth every day, preferably two times a day, is the best defense against plaque buildup that can lead to gum disease.

Still, millions of adults in the United States suffer from gum disease in some form.

Luckily, if it's caught early, it is easily reversible.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene and seeing a dentist regularly will help keep plaque off of your teeth.

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Misaligned teeth can cause gum disease

3. Misaligned Teeth

Many people have teeth that overlap, become crooked, or rotate.

Crowded mouths aren't uncommon, but they can be a breeding ground for gum disease because misalignments create additional spaces where plaque can build up and harm your gums.

If you have a crowded mouth due to misaligned teeth, you can consider braces or Invisalign to straighten your teeth. 

Until then, you need to take extra care to brush and floss the crowded areas to help prevent plaque from building up, potentially leading to gum disease.

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4. Tobacco Use

Using tobacco use has an infinite list of health risks that come along with it, and gum disease is just one of those risk factors.

Smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, making your mouth more vulnerable to infections like gum disease.

Chewing tobacco is even worse for your oral health.

While gum disease is nothing to joke about, it's one of the more minor risks of tobacco use.

Kick the habit to prevent countless health issues, including gum disease.

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5. Nutritional Deficiencies

It's hard to get in every vitamin you need every day.

Missing out on your vitamin C, though, can be especially harmful to your gums.

A high carb, high sugar diet that's also low in water and vitamin C is the recipe for gum disease.

To do your part to help prevent gum disease, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Cut back on the sugar and processed carbs and include plenty of vitamins, especially vitamin C.

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6. Hormonal Shifts (For Females)

When you're pregnant or during your monthly menstrual cycles, your hormones will rise and fall, making your gums more susceptible to gum disease.

It doesn't mean you will definitely suffer from gum disease when you're pregnant, but you should be mindful of this fact and take extra care of your teeth during your pregnancy.

If you notice that your gums become inflamed, irritated, red, puffy, or bleed a little bit during pregnancy, know that it's normal and will typically disappear after pregnancy.

Still, it's not a bad idea to consult with your dentist if you have any questions.

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7. Prescription Drugs

Some prescription medications have side effects that reduce saliva production and flow, which can leave you with a dry mouth, encouraging bacteria to spread easier.

If you're taking any prescription medications, check the side effects, and speak with your doctor to make sure they won't harm your dental health.

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8. Poor Oral Health

Not keeping up with your oral health can cause several health issues, including gum disease.

You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day and use a mouthwash.

This will keep plaque off of your teeth and bacteria out of your mouth, significantly lowering your chance of gum disease.

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Visit your dentist to make sure you don't have gum disease

BONUS: Limited Trips To The Dentist

It's recommended that you see your dentist at least once a year, preferably every six months.

When you get an exam from your dentist, he or she will check for several issues, including gum disease.

The sooner your gum disease is diagnosed, the sooner you can treat it and cure it.

But, you'll never have your gum diseased diagnosed if you never visit your dentist.

If you think you might be suffering from gum disease, or you haven't seen a dentist in a while, contact the team at Hylan Dental Care.

They have a team of experts that can diagnose your gum disease and get you on the path to a quick recovery.

Click the button below to get started.

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