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What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Posted by DR. JOCELYNN VIDA on Sep 1 2022, 08:31 AM

Gum disease occurs when bacteria build up along the gum line and in the deep periodontal pockets. This bacteria can inflame the gums, making them red and swollen. As the disease progresses, the gums can pull away from the teeth and form spaces, called periodontal pockets, that become infected. This disease is irreversible, though our dental team provides periodontal therapy that can reverse its effects.

Gum disease may develop due to a number of reasons, such as:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth enough, plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth. Eventually, the plaque hardens into tartar, which is difficult to remove.

If tartar isn’t properly removed, it irritates your gums. The gums pull away from the teeth, which loosens the teeth and causes pockets to form. Bacteria can then become trapped between the teeth and gum tissue, eventually leading to gum disease.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is one of the most significant risk factors for the development of gum disease. Not only can tobacco use lead to chronic bad breath and tooth discoloration, but it can also seriously increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products causes chronic bad breath. The odor is caused by the chemicals contained in cigarettes and tobacco products. Additionally, tobacco products can lead to tooth discoloration. This occurs because all of the nicotine and chemicals that enter your mouth with tobacco products cause tooth stains.


Genetics has a lot to do with how susceptible you are to gum disease. Gum disease is typically passed down from parents to children, but this isn’t the case with all cases. If genetics didn’t directly cause gum disease, then there’s a good chance that genetics played some role in making you more susceptible to gum disease.

Hormonal Changes

The body can experience various hormonal changes throughout life. Your hormones impact many parts of your body, including the health of your teeth and gums.

During puberty, the hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to rise. This can increase a woman’s risk for gum disease. During this time, it’s especially important to practice good oral hygiene habits.


Many medications can cause dry mouth. A dry mouth leads to bad breath and can also make gum disease worse.


During pregnancy, the body goes through many changes that can have an effect on the teeth and gums. During this time, it is important to practice good oral hygiene to avoid developing gum disease. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing is a good start. Additionally, a dental cleaning should be scheduled during the second trimester.

In addition to practicing good oral hygiene, pregnant women should avoid any habits that may compromise oral health. Excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks can lead to plaque buildup, which can contribute to gum disease. A dry mouth is also common during pregnancy can open the door to tooth decay.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a symptom of gum disease. When you don’t produce enough saliva, or your mouth isn’t efficiently moisturized, plaque and bacteria can build up and irritate your gums. A lack of saliva can also increase your risk of tooth decay.

Gum Disease Treatment Methods

Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning): This treatment focuses on removing the plaque and tartar from the surface of the tooth, as well as at or below the gum line.

Gum disease medication: Various medications can be used to help control infection and ease discomfort. Some patients benefit from local or oral antibiotics, while others need prescription mouthwashes.

Gum disease surgery: This treatment may be needed for advanced cases of gum disease. A gingivectomy may be performed to remove tissue that is too diseased to be saved.

At Vida Dentistry, we offer treatments for gum disease. To learn more, call (949) 209-8889, visit us at 25270 Marguerite Pkwy Suite C, Mission Viejo, CA 92692, or send us an email at

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25270 Marguerite Parkway Ste C

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Phone : (949) 209-8889
Text Us : (949) 264-8866

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