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Gum Disease Causes & Risks

Causes

Gingivitis is caused by a substance that forms on teeth called plaque. Plaque is a sticky material, composed of bacteria, mucus, food, and other substances. It hardens to form tartar or calculus. When plaque is left on the teeth for an extended period of time, it can lead to gingivitis. Toxins produced by bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gum tissue and cause infection, inflammation, and pain.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for gingivitis include:

  • Inadequate brushing and flossing
  • Stress
  • Clenching teeth together or grinding teeth
  • Poor nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • HIV infection
  • Improper bite
  • Advancing age
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Family members with gum disease
  • Sex: male
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Some medications taken for high blood pressure , heart disease , and depression
  • Some seizure medications
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Down syndrome

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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