The Causes of Poor Gum Health By Burton Gooch on June 11, 2017

Cleaning the teeth at the gumlineThe team at our Birmingham dental care center believes that patients benefit from proper education. That's why we discuss the causes of dental problems with our patients, stressing knowledge and prevention as preferable to restorative dentistry treatment.

Since healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth, we wanted to look at some of the common causes of gum disease and gum recession. In addition to covering causes, we'll briefly note some common sense approaches to preventative care.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

If you don't brush or floss often enough, it's bound to increase your chances of gum disease, tooth decay, and other serious dental problems. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a night.

Brushing and Flossing Too Aggressively

There's a wrong way to brush and floss, and by that we mean too aggressively. Forceful brushing and flossing can lead to gum recession and bleeding. Be gentle and thorough when cleaning your teeth instead.

Use of Tobacco Products

Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can lead to lung disease, heart disease, and cancer. These can also increase the likelihood of gum disease and gum recession. Consider these facts another compelling reason to quit for good.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

A lack of saliva can result in problems eating and speaking, and it can also increase the likelihood of gum disease. Be sure to keep hydrated through the day with water, and to discuss any issues with chronic dry mouth with your doctor.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Gnashing and grinding your teeth can place excessive stress and pressure on the teeth and gums. This can lead to gum recession over time. Be sure to have teeth grinding treated as soon as it seems like it's an issue you're going through.

Crooked Teeth (Malocclusion)

Crooked teeth can contribute to teeth grinding and can also lead to serious stress placed on the teeth and gums. Orthodontic treatments can help improve dental alignment and prevent gum recession and other health issues.


Diabetics are more likely to suffer from a number of health issues because of their condition, including vision loss and gum disease. If you have diabetes, be sure to monitor your blood sugar and to take your insulin as instructed.

Poor Diet and Eating Habits

You are what you eat, and if your diet is full of junk food, it's more likely to cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. Try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and to avoid snacking on candy and consuming too much soda.

Medication Side Effects

Some medications can cause dry mouth, leading to an increased risk of gum disease. Drugs can also lead to oral sores, irritated gums, and gum discoloration. Discuss all medication side effects with your doctor so you know what to expect.

Changes in Hormone Levels

Hormones can change during puberty, pregnancy, major weight loss, and menopause. These hormone changes can made gum disease more likely. Proper oral hygiene can help keep these issues under control.

Genetics and Family History

Some people may be genetically more likely to suffer from tooth decay and gum disease. Proper oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular visits to the dentist are the best way to keep your periodontal health good in these cases.

Learn More About Periodontal Health

For more information about treating and preventing gum disease and gum recession, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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Gooch Family Dental

Gooch Family Dental

Gooch Family Dental is dedicated to providing convenient, comprehensive dentistry from our dental office in Birmingham, AL. We take advantage of the latest dental technology to streamline treatment, and deliver fast, beautiful results. Our proud affiliations include:

  • The American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • Birmingham District Dental Society
  • The Alabama Dental Association

You can learn more about our services, and schedule an appointment today by filling out our online form, or by calling (205) 991-9892.

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