in General Dentistry

What Causes Gum Disease

While it is well known that the number one leading cause for gum disease is the  sticky deposit on teeth in which bacteria proliferate, known as plaque, there are several other factors which can contribute to periodontal disease. Here is a list of some of these factors, that lead to poor dental health and gum disease:

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.


Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body’s ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.


Taking medications can affect oral health, because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication Dilantin and the anti-angina drug Procardia and Adalat, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.

Bad habits

Poor habits such as habitually smoking or drinking high sugar beverages in a regular manner will make it much more difficult for your mouth’s gum tissue to repair itself.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.

Family History

Family history of gum disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.   Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

The Bright Side

 Gum disease can be reversed in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced. Proper plaque control consists of professional cleanings at least twice a year and daily brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that can be reached; flossing removes food particles and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.
Cosmetic Dental Texas
2101 Crawford St, Suite 103
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 654-7756