Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

One or two of these factors can greatly increase your risk of developing gum problems but with a healthy lifestyle and regular dental care, we can help you prevent the diseases which lead to tooth loss and help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

  • Smoking – Numerous studies show that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have higher levels of calculus in the mouth and experience more tissue irritation which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Tobacco users have more bone loss and heal slower than non-smokers.
  • Stress – There is a definite link between stress and dental health. When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.
  • Poor oral hygiene – The more plaque growth, the higher the risk of gum disease in susceptible patients.
  • Hereditary gum problems – There is a definite link between some forms of gum disease, a person's immune response and our hereditary. Genetic factors also contribute to a higher risk of gum disease.
  • General health - The presence of other illnesses or diseases like diabetes and heart disease affects our ability to fight gum infections.
  • Iatrogenic factors / anatomy – Rough fillings, crowded teeth, shape of teeth, anything that makes it difficult to remove plaque thoroughly contributes to an increase risk of gum disease.
  • Hormones – hormonal changes in pregnancy and women taken birth control pills affect the gums and causes sensitivity that may make them more susceptible to gum infection. Many women report a higher incidence of bleeding gums during pregnancy.
  • Medications – Certain drugs may affect the gums and cause swelling (e.g. dilantin) or dry the flow of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is very important in preventing dental disease. Dry mouth increases plaque build up and leads to difficulty in brushing and flossing which creates a greater risk for gum disease.
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth – These habits put abnormal stress on the teeth and can also put stress on the supporting structures of the teeth, the gums and bone.
  • Poor diet - Gums, like the rest of our body needs good nutrition to be healthy. Poor diet can make gum tissue vulnerable to infection and resistant to proper healing. What you eat and the vitamins you take have an effect on your gums.