Identifying Periodontal Disease Culprits 

Oral infections like gum disease are common, affecting 1 in 2 adults. When left untreated, the condition can worsen, causing an array of symptoms and may even involve the underlying bone. 

family dentistry in Indianapolis, Indiana, will help you explore the causes of periodontal disease to help prevent the disease.

Understanding periodontal disease

Periodontal disease or gum disease is a dental condition that is characterized by the infection and inflammation of the gums. These are soft tissues that surround the tooth and provide support along with the alveolar bone.

Potential causes of periodontal disease 

Plaque is a sticky film that is present, naturally adhering to the tooth surface. If this layer is not removed through proper oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, or using a mouthwash, it leads to an increase in plaque buildup. Excess plaque accumulation can pave the way for bacterial infiltration that releases harmful toxins to damage the soft tissues. 

There are genetic and environmental factors that favor the onset of gum disease. These include:

Poor oral hygiene

  • Failure to remove plaque and bacteria can damage the gums and the bones around the teeth through the toxins released by them. 
  • It is essential to include regular dental visits, oral exams, professional cleanings, and X-rays at least once every 6 months to prevent the onset of gum disease.

Genetic predisposition

  • If you have a genetic link to gum disease, you are more susceptible despite practicing rigorous oral hygiene routines.  

Tobacco use

  • Smoking and tobacco use is harmful since it leads to slower recovery and healing rate. 
  • Smokers are more likely to suffer from calculus buildup and deep gingival pockets with significant bone loss. 

Hormonal imbalance

  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can make your gums more sensitive, making them more susceptible to periodontal disease. 

Unhealthy diet

  • Poor diet or malnutrition can impair your body’s defense mechanism to fight off infection. 

Chronic stress

  • Prolonged stress can lower the ability of your immune system to fight off diseases. 
  • The bacterial infiltration overpowers your immune system to damage the tissues. 

Underlying medical conditions

  • Many underlying conditions can accelerate tissue destruction and disease progression. These include:
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Arthritis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Respiratory disease


  • The abnormal clenching or grinding of your teeth is known as bruxism.
  • This leads to increased pressure on the tooth surfaces and the gums surrounding them.

Certain medications

  • There are several drugs that pose a risk to the gum health as a side effect of the medicine. These include:
    • Steroids
    • Oral contraceptive pills
    • Antidepressants
    • Antihypertensive drugs

It is essential to know the causes of periodontal disease to take the necessary steps to prevent it. Also, it can help dentists design an appropriate treatment plan that best suits you.