Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissues that can destroy gums and the bone that supports the teeth. It is caused by plaque buildup along the gum line that turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a professional cleaning. The bacteria in the plaque irritates the gums and causes them to swell and redden. As a result, patients often experience painful inflammation and bleeding. As the condition worsens, the affected teeth can be lost.

Gum disease is a relatively common condition that can develop due to any of the following:

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you have poor oral hygiene, bacteria thrive in the plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth. The bacteria cause gum disease when they attack your gum tissues. An unhealthy mouth can lead to oral infections, which can spread to other parts of the body. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine can help prevent oral health problems. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, rinsing with mouthwash, and eating a healthy diet can help keep your gums healthy.


Each person’s susceptibility to gum disease depends on their genes or hereditary traits. If your parents had periodontal disease, you’re more likely to have it too.

However, your genes aren’t the only factor that determines your risk for gum disease. Your oral bacteria also play a part. Certain strains of microbes are associated with gum inflammation and infection. If you have these strains in your mouth, you are more likely to develop gum disease.


Tobacco use increases your risk of developing gum disease, so it’s important to avoid smoking and tobacco use if you’re concerned about maintaining the health of your gums. It also contributes to oral cancers, which can compromise your oral health in several different ways. If you smoke or use tobacco products, talk to your dentist about how you can quit using tobacco safely and effectively.

Using tobacco also increases the risk of tooth decay because tobacco use interferes with your ability to fight plaque buildup. Without the ability to fight off plaque, you’re more likely to experience tooth decay or cavities that can jeopardize the health of your smile.

Medications and Dental Procedures

There are hundreds of medications that can trigger gum disease, including blood pressure pills, hormone replacement therapies, antidepressants, and more. Any of these medications can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to bacteria buildup in your mouth. Over time, this can lead to gum disease.

While most dental procedures don’t directly cause gum disease, they can make it worse if you suffer from it.

Please reach out to our dental practice at 70 Pennington Dr, Ste 7, Bluffton, SC 29910, to have a consultation with our dentists. Call Dentist in Bluffton, SC, or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.

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