Gums at Risk: Navigating the Landscape of Periodontal Challenges

Periodontal disease is a common progressive dental problem next to tooth decay that can negatively impact your oral health. Swollen, red, bleeding gums and compromised bone health can be debilitating and eventually end up in tooth loss. 

The dentist in San Jose CA offers a comprehensive approach to periodontal disease through in-depth analysis using diagnostic aids and effective treatment options, based on the cause of the disease. Keep reading to unravel potential causes of periodontal disease. 

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a progressive destruction of the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth, namely the gums and jawbone. It initially begins as an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), resulting in red, inflamed, swollen, and bleeding gums, and may gradually progress to the underlying jawbone, causing permanent damage (periodontitis), resulting in mobility and tooth loss.   

What causes periodontal disease? 

The following are some of the possible causes of periodontal disease: 

Genetic factors

  • People with a genetic predisposition (if a family member suffers from it) are six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. 

Poor oral hygiene

  • Lack of good oral habits can cause an increase in bacterial infiltration and plaque formation. This leads to the secretion of harmful toxins and acids that damage your teeth and surrounding structures. 

Tobacco use in the form of smoking

  • Smokers are more prone to gingival inflammation and bone loss. 
  • This is because smoking leads to poor healing and recovery rates. 

Hormonal changes

  • Hormonal imbalance, as seen during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can wreak havoc on your oral health due to gum inflammation. 

Chronic stress 

  • Stress greatly lowers the ability of your immune system to fight off disease. Your body’s defense mechanism is compromised, which causes gum disease. 

Poor diet

  • A poorly balanced diet or malnutrition can lead to nutritional deficiencies that can also play a vital role in causing gum disease due to impaired healing ability.  

Underlying health conditions

  • Certain health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, or respiratory disease can increase your risk of periodontal disease.
  • This is mostly attributed to poor healing and recovery rates. 

Certain medications

  • Drugs such as antihypertensives, oral contraceptive pills, steroids, antihypertensives, and antidepressants can negatively affect the overall health of the teeth and gums. They facilitate bacterial colonization and cause gingival swelling.


  • Abnormal grinding or clenching of teeth is believed to damage the supporting tissue surrounding the teeth due to extreme forces exerted.  


Knowing the cause of periodontal disease is crucial to provide proper management and treatment. Symptomatic relief cannot completely resolve your dental issues. Timely dental care can help prevent the onset, progression, and recurrence of periodontal disease.