Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common dental problems. Here are some of the common factors resulting in gum disease:


There are many risk factors for gum disease that you can control, such as smoking. Every time you inhale cigarette smoke, small particles enter your lungs and make their way into your bloodstream. From there, the toxins enter your gum tissues and wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Since gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults, practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products can help prevent this problem.

Additionally, the American Dental Association advises against “vaping” or using e-cigarettes because of the possible risks associated with vaping and tobacco use. This includes the risk of oral cancer, gum disease, tooth discoloration, and tooth loss. The nicotine in e-cigarettes may further aggravate existing issues in the mouth. If you smoke or use tobacco products, consider quitting for the sake of your oral health and overall well-being.


Many people have diabetes, and this puts them at a much higher risk for gum disease, especially when they aren’t controlling their blood glucose levels very well. When the body has uncontrolled or poorly managed blood sugar levels, it can cause damage to the blood vessels, soft tissues in the mouth, gums, and teeth. If blood sugar isn’t well-controlled, it can still damage the gums and create an environment for more bacteria and plaque buildup, making it much harder to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Some of the symptoms of diabetes and its effects on the mouth include frequent dry mouth, swollen glands, bad breath, bleeding gums, and even loose teeth. Regular visits to the dentist are highly recommended, even for those with diabetes, to keep an eye on the health of their mouth. The dentist can provide treatment for gum disease and also recommend ways to keep the condition from getting worse.

Hormonal Changes

Women who are pregnant or going through menopause have an increased risk of developing gum disease. After childbirth, mothers have a weakened immune system that makes it harder to fight bacteria in the mouth. The hormonal fluctuations of menopause can also increase the risks of gum disease.

If you have hormone imbalances, talk to your dentist about the best oral hygiene routine for you. You should also make sure you’re seeing your general physician regularly to monitor any health conditions that could increase your risk of gum disease.


There are many medications that can cause dry mouth as a side effect. This can leave patients more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay, as saliva is a natural defense against these threats to your oral health. Be sure to discuss any medications you are taking with your dentist at your next visit so they can help determine their effect on your dental health.


While genetics can dictate the likelihood of developing gum disease, the severity of the disease is not inherited. Rather, it’s determined by other factors such as lifestyle choices and oral hygiene habits. For example, smoking can make gum disease worse due to the direct relationship between tobacco use and the progression of the disease. The same goes for poor diet and lack of exercise—both of these unchecked factors can increase the risk of gum disease in otherwise healthy individuals.

At Wes Yomoto Esthetic Dentistry, we provide patients with a wide range of dental services to help them improve their oral health and enhance their smile. Our dentist in San Jose, CA, and his experienced team are committed to providing each patient with personalized treatment plans that address their unique dental needs. 


4860 Cherry Avenue #F,
San Jose, CA 95118

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