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What are the causes of periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease or gingivitis is caused by an infection of the gums and bone around the teeth. The first symptoms of this disease, which indicate bacterial infection of the gums, are bleeding and swelling of the gums. If left untreated, this disease can spread and eventually destroy your teeth and gums.

Two common periodontal diseases

  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums in the neck of the tooth
  • Periodontitis: Inflammation of the bone and tooth tissue

What causes gum disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on your teeth after brushing and eating. To get rid of the bacteria, the tooth releases its immune system cells, which burn and damage the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This can lead to swelling, bleeding gums and gingivitis. The severity of the disease can also lead to tooth loss, which is a sign of severe periodontitis (advanced stage of the disease).

Factors affecting periodontal disease

The rate of progression of periodontal disease in an individual depends on the severity of the attack or resistance to plaque attack and the effectiveness of the host’s immune and inflammatory responses. Current research shows that host responses are influenced by specific environmental and genetic factors that can determine the general sensitivity of the host or the local sensitivity of a tooth inside the mouth to the disease. Unfortunately, the severity of the disease is higher in people with diseases such as diabetes, HIV and Down syndrome due to a weak immune system in their body. Smoking and diabetes are among the causes of periodontal disease. Gingivitis occurs almost exclusively in smokers. Diet and stress also affect periodontal health; But it is not clear whether the relationship is physiological or simply because people under stress are less likely to maintain good oral hygiene. Other factors affecting this disease include the improper condition of the teeth in the mouth, which causes plaque to accumulate.

Symptoms of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is one of the diseases that may progress without any symptoms. But here are some of the symptoms that indicate periodontal malformations:

  • Bleeding gums while brushing
  • Swollen and red gums normally
  • Bad breath
  • Gradual loss of gums
  • Creating space between teeth and gums
  • Deformation of teeth

Prevention of periodontal disease

Plaque is the most important cause of periodontal disease, so controlling it prevents the disease. The most important method of controlling plaque is brushing, which should be taught from childhood as a daily routine. Flossing at least twice a day and cleaning the teeth and gums by a dentist also prevents plaque from accumulating on the teeth.

Dangers that exacerbate periodontal

In addition to the bacteria in plaque, several other factors can increase the risk of gum disease or make it worse when the infection is present. These factors include:

Genetics and Inheritance

Genetics have a great impact on the development of periodontal disease, but with regular and proper hygiene can be prevented.


Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease or makes it more severe if you have periodontal disease. In some cases, smoking has even led to resistance to the treatment of this disease. So quitting this habit will definitely have a positive effect on periodontal.


Stress weakens the immune system, which can cause or exacerbate periodontal disease.

Hormonal changes

Whenever hormone levels in the body go up and down, these changes can affect the mouth and teeth as well. Puberty, pregnancy and menopause are some of the factors that affect hormones.


Several types of medications can cause dry mouth or kezostoma. For example, there are certain medications for depression and high blood pressure that increase plaque on the teeth. Other medications include:


  • Used to control seizures.


  • Used to suppress the immune system of people who need an organ transplant (to prevent transplant rejection).


It is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina) or cardiac arrhythmias.


People with certain diseases are more at risk for periodontal disease. For example, people with diabetes, HIV infection, and inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Of course, this is not a cause for concern because dentists advise these people on how to keep their gums and teeth healthy.

Improper nutrition

Nutrition is very important for the overall health of the body, including the immune system and healthy gums. Severe vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) can cause bleeding gums.

Association of periodontal disease with other diseases

According to studies conducted in recent years, periodontal disease has been associated with other problems and diseases. Some of these diseases are:

Atherosclerosis and heart disease

Gum disease may increase the risk of blocked arteries as well as the severity of heart disease.


Periodontal increases the risk of stroke, which causes blocked arteries.

Preterm delivery

Pregnant women who have periodontal disease during pregnancy may be more likely to give birth prematurely. There is also a possibility that the baby weighs less than usual.


As mentioned earlier, periodontal disease increases the severity of diabetes.

Respiratory diseases

Bacteria that become infected may increase the risk of lung infections and worsen the condition of existing lungs.


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