Gum disease is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene which allows bacteria in plaque and calculus to remain on the teeth and infect the gums. But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis. Some examples are the following:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco prevents the gum tissue from being able to heal.
- Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate and are harder to keep clean.
- Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause typically correlate with a rise in gingivitis. The increase in hormones causes the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack.
- Stress impairs the body's immune response to bacterial invasion.
- Mouth breathing can be harsh on the gums when they aren't protected by the lips, causing chronic irritation and inflammation.
- Poor nutrition such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake will increase the formation of plaque. Also, a deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair healing.
- Diabetes mellitus impairs circulation and the gums ability to heal.
- Medications such as antiseizure medications promote gum disease