Enhanced Smiles

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed and infected. This disease is also referred to as a periodontal disease. It can cause bad breath, red and swollen gums, and sensitive gums. Bacteria in the mouth cause gum disease.

To prevent gum disease, brush and floss daily, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and visit our office for regular dental cleanings and exams.

Here are the most common factors that result in gum disease:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failure to brush and floss teeth is the number one cause of gum disease. Plaque builds up on the teeth and along the gum line; however, with proper oral hygiene, plaque can be removed. Not removing plaque allows harmful bacteria to grow and form into tartar, which contributes to gum disease.


In addition to not brushing and flossing, poor dietary habits can also lead to gum disease. Individuals who eat a lot of sugary, starchy foods and drinks will have an increased risk of developing gum disease. This is because plaque, which is sticky, clings to these types of foods. Furthermore, sugary foods and drinks can increase plaque production.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can affect your gum health. For example, hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause swollen or bleeding gums. In these cases, it’s important to see a dentist.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is the most common cause of gum disease. Smoking or chewing tobacco places you at greater risk for gum disease. Tobacco slows healing, which can lead to gum recession and bone loss. It also increases your risk for oral cancer, which can affect your gum tissue.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for over 90% of lung cancer deaths. On average, smokers tend to die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.


Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and jawbone. Genetics plays a role in developing gum disease. If one of your parents has gum disease, you are more likely to experience it as well. However, just because you are susceptible to gum disease does not mean you will develop it.

It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent gum disease. If you are already experiencing symptoms of gum disease, visit a dentist as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment can prevent the disease from getting worse.


Some medications can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth and gum disease go hand in hand. Without saliva to wash away food and neutralize acids, bacteria will build up and damage the gums.

Oral contraceptives, antidepressants, antihistamines, and high blood pressure medications can all lead to dry mouth.

Talk to your doctor if you think your medication is causing dry mouth. They may be able to recommend a different medication or adjust the dosage.


Pregnancy can cause changes in your body, including hormonal changes that can lead to gingivitis. In addition to pregnancy, some medications (such as some types of antidepressants or heart medications) can cause hormonal changes that increase gum disease risk.

Talk to your dentist if you’re pregnant or taking medications, and ask about treatments that can help protect your oral health.


Diabetes increases your risk for gum disease because high glucose levels lead to a lot of debris building up in your mouth. If left unchecked, this debris can eventually harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed during a professional cleaning, and that means you’re putting your mouth at risk of gum disease.

Gum disease can cause severe tooth and bone loss, both of which are already possible concerns for diabetics. This is why it’s so important to take care of your teeth and gums if you suffer from diabetes.

Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Bruxism is a medical condition in which a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth. This behavior, also known as “teeth grinding” or “teeth clenching,” can damage the teeth, gums, and jaw.

Teeth grinding can lead to the development of gum disease in several ways. First, the teeth can become damaged, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and decay. It can also cause jaw pain, and chronic jaw pain can lead to chronic gum disease.

Enhanced Smiles, located in Tukwila, WA, offers the best dental care facilities at dentistry. Dial (206) 575-1000 and book an appointment with our dentist in Tukwila to know more about dental restorative dental services and other dental care facilities. 


411 Strander Blvd Suite 105, Tukwila, WA 98188

Office Hours

MON - WED 7:00 am - 6:00 pm

THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: info@enhanced-smiles.com

Phone: (206) 575-1000