Causes of Periodontal Disease


The main causative agent of periodontal disease is dental plaque. However, there are several other factors that can contribute.


Genes: Current research shows that as much as 30% of the population may have a strong genetic susceptibility to gum disease. This means that despite practising meticulous oral hygiene habits, these individuals are six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. There are genetic tests to verify this predisposition in an effort to begin periodontal treatment early.

Poor oral hygiene: When plaque is not effectively removed with proper dental hygiene habits, the gums and bone supporting the teeth become infiltrated with bacterial toxins, which will lead to gingivitis and periodontitis, and ultimately tooth loss. Preventing gum disease begins at home with good oral hygiene habits. However, once plaque becomes hardened and the pockets (spaces) around the teeth deepen, its removal requires professional treatment.


Smoking: There is compelling evidence that says that smoking is the most important environmental factor associated with periodontal disease. Tobacco products not only have a direct detrimental effect on periodontal tissues, but they can also decrease your body’s immune response in fighting this infection. Clinical studies indicate that smokers have a higher percentage of deep pockets around their gums, greater calculus buildup around the teeth, and greater bone loss around teeth. Dr. Goyal can talk to you about a smoking cessation protocol most suitable for you when you are ready.

Pregnancy/Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes influence many areas of your body, including your mouth. Your gums can become more sensitive during pregnancy, which may lead to a heightened gingival inflammatory response to plaque. Therefore, comprehensive monitoring and periodontal treatment is essential for all patients during pregnancy, and any stage of hormonal changes.

Stress: Stress may act as a factor to amplify the susceptibility to periodontal disease. Physical and mental stress is known to decrease the ability of the immune system to fight disease. Therefore, stress can increase the susceptibility to periodontal disease by decreasing the effectiveness of the immune system cells capable of fighting off bacteria.

Systemic factors: In the past decade, research has been focusing on the impact of periodontal disease and systemic health. Numerous cross-sectional studies have indicated that there is an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic pulmonary disease. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease, is linked to other health risks.

  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart Disease and Stroke Signs and Symptoms
  • Pregnancy Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory Diseases