20 Apr
April 20, 2023
Marzyeh Parvizi


Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in older adults. By weakening the ligaments which hold your teeth in place, gum disease can loosen teeth and ultimately lead to a loss of teeth. Gum disease is a common oral health issue.

Knowing the main risk factors helps you recognize whether you are at an increased risk of developing gum disease.

Smoking is one of the prime risk factors for gum disease. As well as irritating the gums and reducing blood supply, leading to gum recession, tobacco can also have an impact on your immune system. This means that any gum disease is more likely to continue to progress.

Chewing tobacco can also have the same outcome on your oral health as smoking. Remember that e-cigarettes also contain nicotine and may still place you at increased risk from gum disease.

People who have diabetes may also be more at risk from gum disease. One of the links between the two conditions could be the high blood sugar level associated with diabetes.

High blood sugar levels can result in more bacteria and in turn more plaque which can damage the gums. As with tobacco, diabetes can have a detrimental effect on the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight the progress of gum disease.

A family history of gum disease can see you more at risk from the condition. It is believed that as many as 30% of people could be predisposed to gum disease due to genetics. It is key for everyone to keep regular dental appointments to help prevent gum disease. However, this is particularly so if you are aware that gum disease runs through your family.

It is worth noting that certain medications can create the oral conditions which could cause gum disease. Some medications can result in a dry mouth, reducing the saliva levels needed to wash bacteria from your teeth. With more bacteria present you are at risk from increased levels of the plaque which can contribute to gum disease. Medications which can affect your mouth include those for high blood pressure, antidepressants, antihistamines and oral contraceptives.

Swollen or red gums and gums bleeding when brushed are signs of gum disease. Your doctor can advise you on preventing and treating gum disease, with the condition easier to treat the earlier it is diagnosed.

Read the full story here:

Knowing the main risk factors helps you recognize whether you are at an increased risk of developing gum disease.

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you. Please fill out this form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.