What Causes Gum Disease?
Gingivitis, the earliest sign of gum disease, is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Early stages of gum disease is a clear sign of poor hygiene, but early detection and frequent cleanings can help maintain and even reverse gum health.

 Gum disease moves in quickly and silently. At first, you may not even notice the early signs of gum disease, but knowing the warning signs and regularly visiting your local Point Loma dentist can help prevent further gum damage. 

Common Signs of Gum Disease

  • Bleeding Gums during or after brushing
  • Discoloration or inflammation of gums
  • Receding gums
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth not caused by external forces or impact

Factors That Cause Gum Disease


Plague is a very common cause of gum disease. Plaque is a sticky, bacteria filled, film that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque can cause inflammation and tooth decay. Regular brushing and flossing can reduce plaque and combat tartar buildup on your teeth in order to help keep gums healthy. 


Smoking can be a leading cause of gum disease because it interferes with the normal function of gum tissue. When you smoke or chew tobacco, your mouth becomes much more vulnerable to infections such as gum disease.

Changes in Hormones or Prescription Meds

Hormonal shifts, pregnancy and menstrual cycles can make gums more susceptible to gum disease. Expecting a child or changes in hormones does not mean you will have gum problems. Prescription medications may also have a side effect of dampening saliva production. If you experience inflamed, irritated or bloody gums, speak to your dentist about your gum health and let them know about any medications you are on. 

Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth can be another cause of common gum disease because misalignments create more spaces where plaque can build up and harm your teeth. 

Genetic Susceptibility

If there has been a history of gum disease in your family, make sure you mention it to your dentist. Some people are more prone to gum disease than others.

Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?

Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease can be reversed by brushing and flossing daily and getting regular cleanings. Speak to your dentist today about scheduling regular teeth cleanings and always maintain regular brushing and flossing schedule. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time. When you brush your teeth, you help remove food and plaque, a major cause of gum disease. 

When To Call Your Dentist

A study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 estimates that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. Although gum disease is fairly common, If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to contact our office immediately and schedule a deep cleaning.