Factors Leading to Gum Disease

Factors Leading to Gum Disease

Posted by 5th Ave Smile on Dec 6 2022, 07:26 AM

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease occurs when the bacteria in the mouth collect along the gum line. The gums become inflamed, and the tissue begins to die. The gums separate from the teeth and create pockets where bacteria can grow. Listed below are the most common factors contributing to gum disease:

Poor Oral Hygiene

When you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque continues to build up along your gum line. Plaque contains bacteria, which irritate your gums and cause redness, swelling, bleeding, and eventually receding gums. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can greatly reduce your risk of gingivitis.


Sometimes, certain people might inherit genetic traits that make their teeth more vulnerable to gum disease. While family history can be a factor, genetics are not the primary cause of most forms of gum disease.

Hormonal Changes

The hormonal changes of menopause can play a role in gum disease, especially in women who are going through or have recently gone through menopause. Statistics indicate that nearly 75 percent of women between the ages of 50 and 60 years old have osteoporosis - a condition in which bones become brittle and weak due to decreased bone mineralization. Osteoporosis leads to decreases in bone density, which in turn can cause tooth loss. Additionally, periodontal disease can increase the chances of developing heart disease by as much as 27 percent. During menopause, the body undergoes many changes, including increased levels of hormones like cortisol, which can cause inflammation. This can then lead to bacteria building up in the teeth and gums, causing gingivitis and, eventually, periodontal disease. Women can also experience dry mouth during menopause as a result of a decrease in saliva production. A dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and bad breath, as well as increased plaque buildup on teeth.

Tobacco Use

Studies have shown that smoking or using tobacco products is a major contributor to gum disease. In addition to causing other health problems, smoking can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, and put you at increased risk for oral cancer. Avoiding tobacco use is another important step toward improving your dental health.

Cigarettes contain a lot of chemicals that damage your teeth. These include tar, which builds up on teeth over time, and nicotine, which can increase your risk of tooth decay. In addition, the tobacco in cigarettes reduces blood flow to your gums, making it more difficult for them to heal after they’ve been affected by bacteria from plaque. This means that smokers are more likely to have gums that are red or swollen and tender to the touch, symptoms of gum disease. Additionally, the chemicals in cigarettes can reduce the oxygen supply to gum tissues. This can damage it and make it more likely to succumb to infection. Smokers are nearly twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-smokers!

At 5th Ave Smile, our experienced team provides the best dental care for patients in Aurora, CO. To schedule an appointment, call (303) 360-7462, or visit our office at 2044 Clinton St. Suite B, Aurora, CO 80010.

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