Influential Factors That Affect Your Risk Of Gum Disease

Practically every dental patient knows that brushing the teeth and flossing are two key steps to maintaining optimal gum health. However, even when you take immaculate care of your teeth, certain conditions or activities can increase your risk of gum disease. Recognizing your risk factors can help you and your periodontist formulate a plan of action to keep your gums healthy.

Hormonal Changes

Throughout their lives, a women experiences constant fluctuations in hormone levels. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and the use of birth control pills all cause hormonal changes. These changes can increase the flow of blood to the gums, making them susceptible to irritation and inflammation.

Hormones are able to alter the way that the body reacts to plaque. Plaque accumulation results in the release of toxins; the presence of certain hormones, such as progesterone, leads to an extreme reaction to these toxins that results in irritation of the gums.


Certain prescription medications can lead to gum disease by reducing the amount of saliva that the body produces. Saliva is a vital component for maintaining excellent dental health, as it battles germs and protects both teeth and gums. Inadequate saliva can lead to swollen gums that are more likely to be affected by gum disease.

Other medications can cause the gum tissue to grow at an accelerated rate. Such an abnormal rate of growth makes it difficult to completely clean in and around the nooks and crevices around the gums, leading to plaque and infection.

Use of Tobacco Products

Tobacco products weaken the body's immune system so that it cannot effectively fight off infections. If the gums become infected, the body is unable to combat the infection. The gums remain damaged because the gum tissue is not able to adequately repair itself.

Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, and pipes all contribute to a higher likelihood for gum disease.


If you have a condition that affects the immune system, such as an autoimmune disease, cancer, or HIV, the gums are not able to repair the tissue or ward off infection.

Conditions that alter how the body processes sugar, such as diabetes, put the individual at a higher overall risk of infection, including gum disease.

Sometimes, even fantastic dental hygiene habits are not enough to keep the mouth and its gums in good health. Underlying conditions and lifestyle choices may all cause an increase in your risk of gum disease. Regular visits to your periodontist  are vital for constructing a plan that combats your risk factors for gum disease.