Gum Disease: Common Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

For better or worse, gums play a crucial part in your oral health. While naturally supporting your teeth, they also give you swollen gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth. Worse, gum disease can shorten your life. It can severely damage your heart and cause other health complications. To prevent these issues, get to know more about gum disease. With this knowledge, you can take the necessary steps.


Common Causes


Gum disease is your body’s inflammatory response to oral bacteria. The bacteria feed on the food, and the particles that remain between your teeth produce plaque and tartar. When these are on your teeth for too long, they irritate your gums. Additionally, some conditions and habits may put you at a high risk of developing gum disease. These include:

  • Pregnancy

  • Teeth that are close together

  • Poor oral health

  • Smoking

  • Family history of gum disease

  • Prescription medication

  • Health conditions




During pregnancy, your body experiences hormonal changes. These can affect your oral health and cause bacterial levels to rise. The chemicals they produce lead to plaque and tartar formation and irritate your gums. Thus, you need to be more intent on your oral health during pregnancy.




Smoking leads to gum disease since it increases the production of bacterial plaque. It limits the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream, preventing your gums from healing until the condition becomes severe. The most effective way to deal with it is to quit smoking.


Family History


Gum disease runs in some families. Thus, take the proper precautions when you realize the likelihood of developing it. It may mean being more intent on your oral health than usual. You may also need to schedule regular dental checkups.


Health Conditions and Medication


Some health conditions like Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis can put you at risk of developing gum disease. Medication like calcium channel blockers for blood pressure will also put you at risk of getting the condition. If you are taking them, take the proper precautions.




The dentist will begin by taking your medical history. It will help them determine if you have a predisposition for gum disease. They will also examine your mouth to check the extent of plaque and tartar buildup.

In cases of gum recession, they will measure the depth of the pockets between the grooves. The dentist uses a dental probe and places it beside your tooth and beneath your gumline. They will do this on several sites. Finally, they will perform dental X-rays to check the extent of deeper pockets. After diagnosis, they will develop a treatment plan.




The treatment of gum disease can be surgical or nonsurgical. It depends on the severity of the condition. Nonsurgical treatments involve scaling and root planing. The dentist will also give you antibiotics to deal with infection and inflammation so your gums can heal.

Surgical treatments involve soft tissue grafts, pocket reduction or flap surgery, bone grafting, and guided tissue regeneration. The doctor may also use tissue-stimulating proteins to encourage the growth of healthy bone and tissue.

For more information on gum disease, visit Concierge Smile Boutique at our office in Culver City, California. Call (424) 404-6400 to book an appointment today.