What increases my risk of gum disease?

Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease:
  • 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
Carol Jahn
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.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.