Factors Affect Gum Disease

Monday 23rd May 2016

So many factors affect gum disease besides good dental hygiene that it is no wonder it can happen to many of us, no matter how much we take care of our teeth. It can be inevitable, kind of like taxes. Still, we can do our best to ward off potential problems and save ourselves unnecessary procedures in the future.

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis

Gum disease or periodontitis starts to develop when bacteria grows in your mouth over time. It is usually preceded by gingivitis, easily recognizable if your gums become inflamed and if they easily bleed during brushing. This is the time for you to act, because at this point your teeth are still firmly anchored in your gums and no irreversible tissue or bone damage has occurred. If left untreated, however, you will then have to deal with periodontitis.

Friendly Fire

In case of periodontitis, the inner layer of bone and gums separates from your teeth and form places that collect debris which then become infected. In this situation of “friendly fire,” the body's immune system gets to work to fight the bacteria by creating enzymes which unfortunately combine with toxins from the bacteria in plaque and start to break down the connective tissue and bone that holds your teeth in place. This loosens individual teeth, and the more the disease progresses, the bigger the chances you will lose one or more of your teeth.


The biggest cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene. However, that is far from the only possible cause. Hormonal changes, whether they occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, or menstruation, make gums more sensitive and thus more susceptible to gum disease. Various illnesses and even some medication can also create conditions that can allow gum disease to more easily develop. Other factors include your family dental health history as well as some bad habits such as smoking.

Luckily, gum disease can be reversed in the majority of cases provided you practice proper dental hygiene. Make sure you brush, floss, and have twice yearly professional cleaning, and your teeth should be safe and remain exactly where they belong.