What Are the Causes of Gum Disease and How To Treat Them

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Gingivitis is characterized by sore gums and bad breath. It can progress to periodontitis, a more advanced stage of gum disease if left untreated or very severe. The process is started by plaque, a creamy bacterial covering on the teeth. If we do not clean and floss our teeth properly, our gums may quickly get red, swollen, and bleed. It is, however, reversible with expert treatment by a dentist near you and good oral hygiene at home.

To be able to properly treat and prevent gum disease, you must first be aware of its causes. Here are some of the common causes of gum disease.

What Are the Causes of Gum Diseases?

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to develop on the teeth, causing bacteria to multiply and produce toxins which causes inflammation and irritation of the gum tissues (and bones). Poor flossing causes bacteria to build up between your teeth and the gum tissue, causing irritation and eventually disease.

  1. Smoking and Drinking

Smoking and drinking contribute to the development of periodontitis by leading to dry mouth and increasing the severity of periodontitis.

  1. Misaligned or Crooked Teeth That Are Hard to Clean

Teeth that are crooked or misaligned are hard to clean. Food and bacteria can be trapped in between the spaces of the teeth, which leads to periodontitis.

  1. Having Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your gums may become infected more quickly because the disease can reduce your resistance to infection.

  1. Poor Blood Circulation

Improper blood circulation causes a thickening of the gums, making gum tissues more susceptible to periodontitis.

  1. Pregnancy

Pregnancy can cause gum disease to flare up. This is because hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the mouth to dry out.

  1. Medications

Medication can also cause periodontitis to flare up which are usually caused by anti-inflammatory drugs, anabolic steroids, and drugs to treat depression.

  1. Genetics

Certain conditions such as diabetes, anemia, and hyperthyroidism that run in the family are common causes of gum disease. If you have a family history of these ailments, you can be at risk for gum disease too.

What Are the Treatments for Gum Diseases?

Treating gum disease starts by removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth by brushing daily and getting the proper dental cleaning. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the gum disease, but usually starts with scaling to remove plaque. Scaling is generally done by a dental professional who scrapes off the plaque and removed with dental floss.

At home, brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush, preferably with fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. If you are using an electric toothbrush, increase the frequency of your brushing and flossing as the device does the work for you.


Poor oral hygiene, smoking, and drinking are the main contributors to gum diseases. These diseases can be prevented by practicing proper oral hygiene at home. If you have the symptoms of gum disease, make an appointment with Dr. Mihirgir Bava, the best gentle dentist in Raleigh, NC. We are pleased to provide exceptional dental care, from routine checkups and cleanings to significant tooth repair and replacement treatments. Call 919-872-1700 to learn more!