What Causes Gum Disease?

October 19, 2017

Gum disease is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. It can lead to health complications in the rest of your body, such as, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. It is preventable, treatable, and even reversible in the early stages. Gum disease is inflammation in the gum tissue. The name of the earliest stage, gingivitis, literally comes from the root words gingiv- which means gum tissue and -itis which means inflammation. Gingivitis can be reversed with a good professional cleaning and continued good hygiene. The next stages of periodontitis and advanced periodontitis cannot be cured, but can be treated. What are the causes of gum disease?

Bacteria Buildup

Bad oral hygiene results in the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. This plaque and tartar is riddled with bacteria. On your teeth, it can cause tooth decay. The buildup along your gum line can irritate the gum tissue. The bacteria buildup can also happen underneath the gum line. This buildup can be removed through a deep periodontal cleaning known as a scaling and root planing. If not treated, the bacteria can cause infection and can lead to damage to the teeth, the roots, and the bones beneath the gums.

Hormonal Shifts

Big hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or menopause can affect the soft tissues of the gums. They may become more sensitive and irritated, which can lead to inflammation. With pregnancy, the onset of gingivitis usually goes away after the birth of the baby, but you may still consult with your doctor or dentist.


Smoking causes dry mouth, which creates a thriving hot bed for bacteria. Without the rinsing agent of saliva, the bacteria can breed and multiply. Smoking also interferes with the gum tissues functions, which may leave it vulnerable to gum disease.

Poor Nutrition

Sugar and carbohydrates are feasts for bacteria. Vitamin C is helpful for gum tissue. A diet lacking in vitamin C can be problematic for your gums.

Gum Disease Can Be Prevented

Talk to your dentist if you notice signs of gum disease. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-210-1701. We also proudly serve patients from Overland Park, Lenexa, Leawood, Gardner, and all surrounding communities.