- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
A Answers (3)
American Dental Association answeredSome factors increase the risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease:
You are more likely to have gum disease if you don't brush and floss your teeth regularly or well enough to remove plaque.
You are at greater risk for gum disease if:
- You smoke cigarettes or use spit tobacco. Tobacco use is believed to be one of the biggest risks for gum disease. Tobacco decreases your ability to fight infection, interferes with healing and makes you more likely to have serious gum disease that results in tooth loss.
- Gum disease runs in your family. If you have a family history of gum disease, you are much more likely than normal to develop it, even if you take good care of your teeth and gums.
- You are a woman going through the hormonal changes caused by puberty, menopause or pregnancy.
- You have a disease that reduces your ability to fight infection, such as uncontrolled diabetes, AIDS, or leukemia.
- You are under a lot of stress. Stress can weaken your immune system and make you more likely to develop infections.
- You eat a diet that is low in vitamins and minerals, which can weaken your immune system or high in sugary foods and other carbohydrates (grains, pasta, bread), which help plaque grow.
- You take certain medicines, such as:
- Seizure-control drugs like phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek).
- Calcium channel blockers, which are used to control high blood pressure or for people with certain heart problems.
- Cyclosporine, a medicine that suppresses the immune system. It is used to keep the body from rejecting transplanted organs.
- Birth-control pills.
- Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy).
- Drugs that block androgen to treat prostate cancer.
© Healthwise, Incorporated.
Carol Jahn, Dentistry, answered
Smoking is the number one risk factor for gum disease. Diabetes also increases the risk of having this condition. Family history is another consideration. However, gum disease can happen to any one - especially people who do not clean between their teeth every day. In between teeth is the first place gum disease develops. If flossing is hard for you, there are many other effective, easy to use products including interproximal brushes, toothpicks, floss aids, and a Water Flosser. Find one you like, and use it every day to help prevent gum disease and have optimal oral health.