Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Posted by STONE DENTAL GROUP on Mar 9 2023, 08:55 AM

Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. When this buildup is not removed, gums can become irritated and inflamed.

Here are the common risk factors that result in gum disease

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is a risk factor for gum disease; it’s not the only risk factor. While proper brushing and flossing can help protect teeth and gums from harm, it’s important to be aware of other factors that can increase your chance of developing gum disease and the need for periodontal treatment.

Tobacco Use

In addition to increasing your risk of heart disease and lung cancer, tobacco use can also increase your risk of gum disease. Smokers are six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking cigarettes can narrow the throat and slow down the blood flow to the gums, making it difficult for them to heal properly. This can also make gum disease worse if you already have it.

Once you quit smoking, you can reduce your risk of gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene at home and seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Medication Use

When you take certain medications, your mouth has an increased chance of developing gum disease. Some drugs make gum tissues more prone to bacteria growth. Others affect saliva flow, which can leave the mouth vulnerable to infection and decay.

Oral contraceptives are common culprits of increased gum inflammation or gingivitis. This is because these drugs alter the delicate hormonal balance in the body, affecting everything from blood sugar levels to blood pressure. This imbalance often leads to plaque buildup, which can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums. According to research published in the Journal of Periodontology, oral contraceptives also double a woman’s risk of periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that may require surgery to treat.

Other medicines that cause side effects in the mouth include antihistamines and antidepressants. These can cause dry mouth, which makes you more susceptible to tooth decay. In addition, some allergy pills contain the same active ingredient as tobacco. This ingredient can increase your risk of developing oral cancer.

If you are taking one of these medications and experiencing any changes in your oral health, be sure to contact your dentist right away. 


Certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing gum disease. If you have a parent or sibling with a history of periodontal disease, you may be at increased risk as well. You may even be more susceptible to gum recession and tooth loss due to genetic conditions like Down’s syndrome and Turner’s syndrome.

When you are affected by certain genetic traits, the gum tissue may be unable to resist infection, and it may become inflamed more easily. If your loved one is dealing with any genetic predispositions to oral health problems, it may be helpful to have them undergo periodontal therapy to improve their overall oral health.

Call us at (773) 880 5080 to book an appointment with us. You can also visit Stone Dental Group-SE Chicago Dentistry at 2845 N Sheridan Rd #914, Chicago, IL 60657. We will assist you further.

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2845 N Sheridan Rd #914
Chicago, IL, 60657

Stone Dental Group-SE Chicago Dentistry

2845 N Sheridan Rd #914

Tel: (773) 880-5080

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