Gum Disease – Sometimes Caused by Other Health Issues

There are many potential causes of gum disease that are not necessarily related to poor dental care. We have listed a few of them below. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but does include the most common causes.

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Smoking and chewing tobacco, and packing between the cheek and gum, are the most direct factors for the development of gum disease. Immune system and regenerative healing actions of the body are compromised by tobacco. Many surgeons and restorative dentists will not do certain procedures such as implants or soft tissue grafts on patients who use tobacco because the results are outside the normal results. White precancerous patches called leukoplakia are found in much higher rates with smokers than non smokers.

Genetic Factors

One out of three people in the American population will get gum disease because they carry traits from family members. This will occur whether proper care is taken of their mouths but good home care can slow the process and maintain some stability for longer that uncared for teeth and gums.

Chronic Stress and Poor Diet

The root of all health issues is no different with oral health. Stress breaks down vitamin C at very rapid rates. Since the body doesn’t store vitamin C the body is lacking this important enzyme. It is crucial in keeping tissues resistant to invasion by both viruses and bacterial infections. As our immune system drops viruses such as cold sores and general reddening of the tissues tell us to slow down, relax and get the rest and nutrition needed to fight off the impending attack.

Hormonal Changes Like Menopause and Pregnancy.

The gums become more sensitive and easily inflamed during these critical times. Tissue growths can occur during pregnancy that will go away afterwards but can cause localized gum disease if not kept clean.

Diabetes and Other Medical Conditions

Diabetes is not a sugar disease but rather a disease of the micro circulation.  This is the kind of circulation found in the mouth and if not under control can cause alot of damage. Dry mouth and thirst, two symptoms of the disease can cause swelling of the gums, bleeding, excessive bone loss, premature loss of teeth, and decay at the gum line on the roots of the teeth.  Special precautions should be taken with diabetes that can be outlined in the office. Special tooth pastes, rinses and precautions need to be incorporated into the daily routine for optimum results.


There are over four hundred prescription medications that cause dry mouth, secondary inflammation, bleeding, gum disease and root decay. These are some of the most popular drugs on the market today and most people don’t see dental problems listed under side effects so check with us, we have the list posted in our office.

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