What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Posted by RAND CENTER FOR DENTISTRY Feb 16, 2023

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Gingivitis is a condition in which your gums become inflamed, red, and swollen. Gingivitis is a reversible disease, meaning that your gums can heal once the bacteria are removed. These are the causes of gum disease:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Diseases of the gums, or periodontal disease, can occur when you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly. Plaque builds up on your teeth, causing cavities and infections that damage your gums. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. It can also increase your risk of serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer’s.

Smoking or Chewing Tobacco

Periodontal disease is linked to tobacco use in a number of ways. First, tobacco products contain nicotine which constricts blood vessels. This reduces blood flow, but in the mouth, it decreases the flow of saliva as well. Saliva is crucial for oral health because it neutralizes acids produced by plaque bacteria and helps wash those bacteria away. A dry mouth is prone to tooth decay and gum disease.
Additionally, smoking causes bad breath, which is one of the first things people notice when they meet you. Since oral hygiene is so closely linked to your social life and your confidence, it’s important to quit for good. Some smokers even find that quitting improves their overall health and leads to better overall wellness.


If you have a family history of gum disease, then you may be at risk for contracting the disease. Unfortunately, genetics can’t be changed. However, you can limit your risk by taking care of your teeth every day and visiting your dentist in Flanders, NJ, every six months. This way, your oral health can be monitored to ensure there are no signs of gum disease.
The best thing you can do for your teeth and gums is to practice good oral hygiene habits at home, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily. This can help to prevent plaque buildup on the teeth, which is a major cause of gum disease.


Diabetes causes the body to be unable to regulate blood glucose levels, which can result in diabetic neuropathy and dry mouth. Both of these conditions can cause gum damage and gum disease.
Diabetics are also more likely to suffer from infections in the mouth. This makes them susceptible to periodontal disease from bacteria buildup around their teeth. 

Frequent Snacking

Healthy snacks that contain vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, help reduce inflammation in the gums. However, if you eat snacks that are sugary or high in carbohydrates and do not brush your teeth afterward, bacteria will build up in your mouth and cause gum inflammation. When plaque on the teeth combines with saliva and food particles to form acid, it irritates and inflames the gum tissues. Over time, chronic periodontitis develops and causes bleeding and receding gums, as well as loose teeth and tooth loss.
If you experience frequent cravings for unhealthy foods, talk to your dentist about what you can do to stop eating so often. For example, chewing sugarless gum after meals can help reduce your urge to grab a snack in between meals and increase your willpower to avoid unhealthy snacks.
Our dentists at Rand Center for Dentistry in Flanders, NJ, provide the best dentistry solutions and the best dental care for patients. To learn more and schedule an appointment, call (973) 370-8917.

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