Why do I have gum disease?

Gum, or Periodontal, disease is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting adults in Ireland and is the greatest single cause of tooth loss.

Patients ask us why they have gum disease even though ‘I brush twice a day and floss every day, I’m doing all I can’.

As with many diseases, there is not just one issue which may be increasing your chances of having ongoing gum disease. Here are some of the more common risk factors (the list is not exhaustive, but may be exhausting!!).

Do you have two or more of these collaborating to ensure you have a problem?

  • Gingivitis
  • Heredity
  • Poor oral health habits
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Older age
  • Decreased immunity, such as that occurring with leukemia, HIV/AIDS or chemotherapy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Certain medications
  • Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy or menopause
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor-fitting dental restorations
  • Problems with the way your teeth fit together when biting
  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Heart Disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Existing damage due to previous gum disease

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