What Cause Gum Disease: Signs And Symptoms To Look For

One of the most dreaded oral diseases is gum disease. This condition can become something else from painful inflammation to bleeding gums, if not handled early enough. It may start as an insignificant inflammation that may go unnoticed. So, what causes gum disease, and what are the signs to look for?

what causes gum disease

Moreover,  it can be easily ignored at its early stage until the inflammation becomes unbearable when it has advanced.  Generally, knowing what the leading cause of gum disease is can help you identify ways of preventing it. You’re in the right place if it’s what you’ve been looking for.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Depending on the location of the infection in your mouth and how advanced it is, these gum diseases may vary significantly from one to the other. Once you have a gum infection, just know that it’s your oral care routine to blame. sometimes oral probiotics supplement like Prodentim may help fight the infection.

According to The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), gum disease at its early stages is noted by gingivitis. General, this is a medical term given to the inflammation of the gums.

At such an early stage, gingivitis isn’t technically an infection, but at an advanced stage, it’s a condition commonly known as Periodontitis. Physical signs to identify Periodontitis are red and puffy gums that can easily bleed.

During the early stages identifying this gum disease may be easy for some but not others since the signs aren’t entirely obvious.

However, the symptoms may become more apparent when the infection spreads throughout the affected area and surrounding area. The signs and symptoms to watch out for are as follows;

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Experiencing pain while chewing
  • Changes in the way you prefer to bite something, e.g., an apple
  • Discharge of pus in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive gums and teeth
  • bleeding when brushing your teeth or flossing
  • A shift in how dentures fit on your teeth
  • If your notice a pinks tinge on the toothpaste, you spit it out.

Causes Of Gum Disease: What To Beware of

Infections can create pus pockets known as an abscess in your oral formula. You’re more likely to discharge pus in your mouth and even experience painful swelling on the gums if you’re ailing from gum disease. If left untreated, it can lead to other complications. A typical example is the root of a nearby tooth being at risk of infection from a neighboring infected tooth—loosening up and, eventually, loss.

Even worse, the infection can spread to surrounding bones and even the jaw. And once the tissues in these regions are damaged, the bacteria can quickly enter your bloodstream, causing other unanticipated bodily harm. That’s why it’s crucial you seek immediate medical attention from your dentist or periodontist. Severe medical conditions the bacteria may subject you to include;

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory illnesses like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

These conditions are more prevalent in individuals with periodontal disease. Generally, gum disease can potentially increase the risk factors associated with these illnesses. Bottom line, this isn’t a necessary indicator of gum disease to cause the conditions or the other way round.

What Is The Main Cause Of Gum Disease?

At a much lower point than the visible part of the gum, we see the attaching point of the gums and the tooth. The attachment forms a tiny space known as the sulcus.

This space can trap food debris, and gradual buildup can cause gum disease. Aside from this, there are other causes of gum disease, and they are as follows.

  • Poor Oral Health and Care

As pointed out previously, the food particles that get trapped in the sulcus need to be removed regularly to avoid preventing the gums from developing any infections. Brushing and flossing daily regularly after a meal daily should suffice.

Not only does brushing your teeth eliminate food debris build-up in the sulcus, but it also prevents plaque formation, which might spell doom to your teeth’s general health and appearance (discoloration).

You should brush your teeth for approximately 2 minutes after every meal. If that’s challenging to pull off, brush at least twice daily with high-fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily. Remember also to use mouthwash. You can also read If you want to know how to reverse gum disease naturally.

  • Hormonal Changes

A spike in progesterone hormone is a common phenomenon in women during the menstrual cycle. During this period, some women can experience oral changes with symptoms such as swollen salivary glands, red, puffy, swollen gums, canker sores, and others.

A day or two before the start of the menstruation, a condition known as menstruation gingivitis. The condition usually disappears after about two days from the start of the menstruation cycle.

Taking progesterone-oriented contraceptive pills can influence hormonal changes. And due to the body’s reaction to the toxins produced by plaque, you might experience the signs within a few months of taking the contraception. 

They include red, swollen gums. All in all, most contraception is linked to oral inflammation. However,  new birth control pills have fewer amounts of progesterone—lessening inflammation of the gums.

  • Smoking

As previously pointed out, one primary cause of gum disease is the gradual build-up of food debris in the sulcus. Unfortunately, smoking is a significant cause of severe gum disease in the US. Suppose the bacteria stay for long on your teeth. It will start forming a film layer, plaque. The film, combined with the tatar from the cigarette smoke, forms a hard layer that discolors the teeth.

The gradual buildup of food debris in the sulcus leads to the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. In this instance, your teeth will start pulling away from the gums if the condition gets severe.

At this advanced stage, the gum disease has now transitioned to periodontitis. With periodontitis, the tissue and bone holding your teeth in place are also at risk of breaking down. Eventually, this may cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Also read: How much does gum crafting cost?

Final Thoughts

While there are gum diseases out there, the good thing is that the most common ones are preventable. All you have to do is avoid smoking, and ensure you brush and floss daily regularly to reduce food debris build-up in the sulcus. In addition to adopting excellent oral hygiene, ensure you see your dentist or periodontist regularly to check for any oral infections and eliminate them as soon as possible. Bear in mind that prevention is better.


  • Kathie Miller

    Kathie Miller has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best share evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public eye. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible, and engaging to our readers.

    View all posts
Scroll to Top