The Different Causes of Poor Gum Health

May 14, 2017 @ 12:00 PM — by Neil L. Starr, DDS

A woman smiling in the mirrorPrevention and educations are keys to proper dental health. We take a great deal of time discussing basic oral hygiene and preventative care with patients in the Washington, DC area. While advanced restorative dentistry procedures are quite effective, patients can do a lot to avoid major dental problems.

We'd like to consider some of the common causes of gum disease, gum recession, and other periodontal health issues. We'll also note some treatment and prevention options.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you don't brush or floss often enough, it' bound to take its toll on your dental health. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a night. Ideally you want to brush and floss after every meal.

Aggressive Brushing and Flossing

Believe it or not, there's a wrong way to brush and floss. If you're too aggressive when you clean your teeth, you can damage your gumline and cause gum recession. Be sure to be gentle as you clean your teeth, brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and being careful as you use your floss.

Use of Tobacco Products

Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco can increase your risk of lung disease, heart disease, and different kinds of cancers. It can also make periodontal disease and gum recession more likely. Consider this another great reason to quit.

Medications Side Effects

While prescription and over-the-counter drugs are meant to improve our health, they can also have side effects that can make gum problems more likely, such as dry mouth and oral sores. Be sure to discuss all side effects with your doctor during medical consultations.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Grinding your teeth can lead to chips and cracks, and it can also place a great deal of stress on your gums. Over time, teeth grinding can lead to gum recession. Be sure to speak with your dentist if you think you have an issue with teeth grinding.

Poor Dental Alignment

When your teeth are crooked, it can lead to tooth grinding and excessive pressure on parts of your mouth. Both can lead to gum recession. Undergoing orthodontic care is the ideal way to resolve these issues affecting dental health.

Bad Diet Habits

Eating lots of junk food and sugary snacks can increase your risk of gum disease and gum recession. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead, with a focus on healthy diet options rather than empty calories that are sugary.


People who suffer from diabetes run the risk of many health problems later in life. Gum disease is just one of these issues. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar and do your best to keep your diabetes under control.

Changes in Hormones

Hormone imbalances during adolescence and pregnancy can result in serious problems with periodontal health. While you may not be able to address these hormone imbalances directly, you can often prevent dental health problems through proper oral hygiene practices.

Family History and Genetics

Some people are just genetically more prone to tooth decay and gum disease and others. In these cases, proper oral hygiene is crucially important, as is visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Learn More About Periodontal Health

To learn more about improving the health of your gums and your overall wellness, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. We will work with you to make your smile as healthy and beautiful as possible.

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