What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a preventable condition that is caused by plaque buildup around teeth. Plaque is a mixture of food particles and bacteria. If plaque isn’t removed, it can turn into tartar which is much more difficult to remove. Tartar buildup can cause gum tissue to pull away from the tooth and create pockets that trap even more bacteria and plaque.

If gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to tooth and bone loss. It can also cause teeth to fall out if the problem isn’t fixed.

The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush and floss daily to remove plaque buildup. You should also visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings.

The risk factors of gum disease are:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene habits are a primary cause of gum disease. When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, plaque can form on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria, which can also harden and form tartar. If plaque and tartar buildup on your gums, your gums can become inflamed and infected.


Some people are naturally predisposed to gum disease. If one or both of your parents have had gum disease, you are more likely to develop it. This has to do with the genetics of your oral anatomy.

Typically, gum disease is prevalent in the adult population. This is because many adults fail to brush and floss on a regular basis, and this leads to plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance that harbors bacteria. The bacteria irritate the gums, and this causes the gums to become inflamed.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco products contain many toxins and chemicals, including tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide. Research shows that the use of tobacco products greatly increases your risk of gum disease. The toxins in the products weaken the soft tissues in your mouth, increasing the likelihood of bacterial infections.

Systemic Illnesses

Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease which is reversible with proper treatment. However, while gingivitis is treatable, certain systemic illnesses can exacerbate gum disease and contribute to its development.

Heart disease. Gum disease is common in those who have heart disease. Bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, leading to inflammation.


Gum disease can be caused by medications that make it hard for your mouth to heal. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can cause a condition called “gingival hyperplasia,” which causes the gum tissue to grow in excess.

Pregnancy and Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause some women to experience bleeding gums. That being said, this is a temporary condition. The gums should return to normal shortly after the baby is born. Additionally, some women experience bleeding gums during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. This often resolves itself after the baby is born.

Lack of Treatment

When gum disease progresses, it can cause further issues, like tooth loss, misalignment, and infection. Therefore, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly and to do everything you can to prevent gum disease.

While gum disease is treatable, it’s largely preventable. Brushing and flossing regularly are the perfect ways to avoid plaque and tartar buildup. These substances can cause gum disease, and once it begins to progress, a dentist will need to treat it.

Aggressive Tooth Brushing

Brushing your teeth too aggressively can cause your gums to become inflamed and bleed. The top layer of your teeth, called enamel, is very strong, but it’s still possible to damage it.

To brush your teeth correctly, use a toothbrush with a soft or ultra-soft bristle, which won’t damage your enamel. Also, don’t brush too hard; instead, use small, gentle strokes.


The foods and beverages you consume can affect your oral health. A diet high in sugar promotes plaque production and increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It also leads to increased acidity in the mouth, which erodes enamel and leads to dental erosion.

Contact ÉLAN Dentistry for the best dental care. To book an appointment, call (714) 364-8181 or visit us at 1030 West Imperial Hwy, La Habra, CA 90631.

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