Seven Factors That Lead to Gum Disease

By Mina Levi DDS, 12/12/2013

Gum Disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss, but since gum disease is pretty painless, you may not know that you have it. Research has shown that gum disease can be linked to heart attack and stroke as well, but only about three percent of those affected by gum disease seek treatment for it. Visiting the Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi DDS will be effective in determining if you are afflicted by gum disease and need treatment. Below we discuss seven factors that make you vulnerable to gum disease.

1. Genetic Susceptibility.

Unfortunately, sometimes we get some susceptibility from our parents or grandparents at no fault of our own. About thirty percent of the population inherits the tendency to be six times more at risk for gum disease. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with gum disease, it’s a good idea to see the Dentist Mina Levi DDS in San Francisco to see if you are at risk.

2. Stress.

We all have times in our lives where we are overly stressed, especially now around the holidays. This stress has been linked to cancer and can make it more difficult for you to fight off oral infections such as gum disease. During periods of stress, keep a close eye on your oral and gum health, and get a professional check up if you feel a difference in your mouth.

3. Clenching or Grinding Teeth.

Clenching and grinding of the teeth is an unconscious activity that usually occurs during sleep, but can occur when a person is concentrating. This grinding puts excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth as well as tooth structure itself, and can speed up the deterioration of the gums and teeth which leads to gum disease.

4. Hormonal Changes.

Many people, especially women, go through life stages in which hormones in the body are changing, such as pregnancy, puberty, menopause or andropause. These changes can cause differing levels of oral bacteria and saliva production and cause gum disease easily.

5. Tobacco and Alcohol.

Smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol are the leading causes of oral cancer and the use of these tobacco products cause a drastic change in the oral environment and can lead to gum disease and gum recession, amongst many other issues. Using both tobacco and alcohol could put you at fifteen times greater risk than others.

6. Diabetes.

Diabetics are at higher risk for infections, which includes oral infections like gum disease. This can make it more difficult to control blood sugar, so it is important to have these infections diagnosed as soon as possible.

7. Avoiding Dental Exams.

Many people openly admit to disliking or have dental anxiety and thus avoid dental visits. This can lead to a multitude of problems in the mouth.

Regular exams and confirmation of proper home care techniques can help you prevent gum disease, and professionals are able to identify the signs and symptoms of gum disease that would not be identified at home. This can help you to halt or even reverse gum disease progression.

For more information on gum disease, the signs and symptoms of gum disease and what you can do to avoid it, visit Dr. Mina Levi DDS on the web at

or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.


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