Common Causes of Poor Gum Health

By J. Brent Gorrell on July 04, 2017

Examining your own teeth with a dental mirrorThe team at Gorrell Smiles has helped countless patients throughout the greater Mountain View area look great and have healthy smiles. This is thanks to our use of advanced restorative dentistry treatments that stress total wellness as well as a focus on preventative care through patient education.

With this in mind, we would like to consider some of the common causes of periodontal disease and gum recession. By knowing the causes, patients are often able to prevent major health issues from occurring.

Not Brushing and Flossing Enough

If you do not brush and floss regularly, you increase your risk of suffering from tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a night. Ideally you should brush and floss your teeth after every meal.

Brushing and Flossing Too Aggressively

Believe it or not, there's a wrong way to brush your teeth. If you are too aggressive when brushing or flossing, this can lead to wear on the tooth enamel as well as damage to the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. When cleaning your teeth, always be gentle yet thorough.

Use of Tobacco Products

Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco can increase your risk of infection, which means a greater chance of developing gum disease and gum recession. Think of this as yet another reason to kick the habit for good.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding doesn't just lead to damage to your teeth. The constant pressure applied when you gnash and clench your teeth can cause the gum tissue to recede. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, tooth decay below the gumline, and many other serious problems. If you notice any telltale signs of teeth grinding, be sure to consult your dentist as soon as possible.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry mouth is more than just an annoyance. A dry mouth is an ideal condition for oral bacteria to thrive, meaning a much greater risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Be sure to drink water through the day to remain hydrated, and to speak with your dentist or physician if your dry mouth is persistent.

Poor Diet

If you eat a lot of junk food and drink a lot of soda, it's bound to take its toll on your teeth at gums. Rather than eat lots of sugary snacks, consider a healthier diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Medication Side Effects

Different medications can cause side effects that can affect your oral health, including dry mouth, sensitive gums, and gum irritation. Be sure to discuss any and all medication side effects with your doctor so you know how these matters can be addressed should they arise.


People who suffer from diabetes often face a higher risk of gum disease given the nature of their condition and how it impacts their dental health. If you are a diabetic, be sure to monitor your blood sugar and to keep your condition under control.

Changes in Hormones

Hormonal changes (particularly involving estrogen and/or progesterone) increase blood flow to the gums, which leads to a greater risk of gum irritation and gum disease. Proper oral hygiene during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can help prevent cases of gum disease.

Genetics and Family History

Some people are genetically more susceptible to gum disease than others, which can make proper oral hygiene and dental care a challenge. It's important that you brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist regularly to help keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Contact Gorrell Smiles

For more information about improving your periodontal health and helping you smile with renewed confidence, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The attorneys of Gorrell Smiles are here to help you achieve optimal dental health and wellness.

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Mountain View Office

809 Cuesta Dr
Ste 205
Mountain View, CA 94040

More Info Directions (650) 967-1441