Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Posted by CARLSTON DENTAL GROUP Apr 03,2023

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The presence of gum disease indicates the presence of other health issues. Listed below are some common risk factors for gum disease:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Not brushing regularly or properly is one of the most common risk factors for gum disease. If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day, plaque can start to build up on your teeth and harden. Plaque contains all kinds of tiny bacteria that can quickly irritate your gums and lead to an infection. Plus, neglecting your daily oral care routine can exacerbate bad breath and cause other dental health issues as well. In addition to regular brushing, it’s also important to use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.


If patients smoke, they are at a much higher risk of developing gum disease. Tobacco products contain chemicals that harm gums and teeth. The tar found in cigarettes can actually stain teeth and cause discoloration. Additionally, smoking restricts blood flow in the gums and jaw, making the problem worse.

Patients who smoke should quit as soon as possible. Studies show that quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall dental health! 

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can exacerbate symptoms of periodontal disease, including bleeding and swelling. This can occur in women during pregnancy or menopause due to fluctuating hormone levels. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis or hormone-associated gingivitis. Patients with diabetes and eating disorders may also experience increased inflammation in the mouth. Patients with hemophilia may experience a form of gum disease known as hemorrhaging periodontitis, which is characterized by bleeding gums during routine activities like brushing their teeth.

Certain Medications

Certain medications can also cause problems for your oral health. Antihistamines and some antidepressants may reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. Without sufficient saliva flow, you are at risk of experiencing dry mouth, which has been shown to increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva contains minerals that help to neutralize acids produced by plaque bacteria and remove them from the mouth. As your body produces less saliva, you are at an increased risk of developing cavities and gum disease.


Since gum disease has been linked to many serious health conditions, it’s important to focus on reducing stress in your life. Research shows that stress increases the risk of inflammation and infection in the body, which can increase the risk of periodontal disease.

Stress also tends to have a negative impact on diet quality. If you’re eating poorly or not getting the nutrients you need, you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease and other oral health conditions.

Reducing stress and focusing on a healthy diet can go a long way toward protecting your oral health! Be sure to see a dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office at (310)-838-0844 today to learn more and schedule a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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