Gum Disease (Gingivitis and Periodontitis) Causes, Prevention, & Treatment

Friday, December 30th 2016. | Disease

The cause of gum disease is really nothing more than bacteria that are normally in the mouth. The problem is when this bacterium begins to collect in one area of the gum causing infection, swollen gums, and of course gum disease.

The bacteria starts to collect in an area when food particles have not been removed with normal brushing and flossing. The enamel of the teeth begins to wear away with age and can be the reason for small cracks and crevices in the teeth in which brushing and flossing cannot reach. These areas begin to collect food particles and then bacteria calls the area home.


Once the bacteria begins to collect around a tooth, the gums form a moat around the tooth, this area is a great spot for bacteria to grow even more. Once bacteria grows, so does infection. As the gums start to become infected the gums will no longer be attached to the teeth.

Normal healthy gums have the same moat, which is fine as long as the space is no larger than 1 to 3 millimeters. However, with infection, gum disease takes over and the moat grows allowing the teeth to have no support from the gum.

Along with food particles that begin to accumulate in unreachable areas there are other risk factors that have been noted with gum disease.

Hormonal changes

A pregnant woman has a higher risk of developing a mild form of gum disease known as gingivitis. If a pregnant woman notices tenderness in her gums, bleeding gums or swollen gums she should notify her dentist to take precautionary measures.

Genetic conditions

A few genetic conditions have been noted as a cause of gum disease. A family history of gum disease is a good indicator that you will be prone to gum disease as well.


Smoking is an irritate that can aid in developing gum disease.


Whether you are diabetic or it is in your family history, you will be at risk to developing gum disease.

Of course, the major cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene. Learning the proper way to care for your teeth and gums will be the best preventive measure you can take. Visiting your dentist at least twice per year for office cleaning and an overall checkup will also help to reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

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