The Causes of Poor Gum Health

By Randal Watson, DDS on July 31, 2017

An older couple smilingHaving healthy gums is a sure way to have a great smile. Periodontal disease and gum recession can lead to major problems with wellness, however. Thankfully, our Austin restorative dentistry practice has plenty of ways to address problems that affect the health of your gums should they arise.

That said, prevention is often the best policy. With that in mind, let's go over the most common causes of gum disease and gum recession and offer some tips on how to deal with these issues.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you don't brush or floss enough, it should come as no surprise that gum disease and tooth decay are more likely to develop. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a night. Ideally, brush and floss after every meal.

Brushing and Flossing Too Forcefully

There's a wrong way to clean your teeth. If you brush and floss too aggressively and cause your gums to bleed, you're doing more harm than good. This is a potential cause of gum recession. Be sure to be gentle and thorough when you're cleaning your teeth, and to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head.

Use of Tobacco Products

Smoking and using smokeless tobacco can lead to gum disease, gum recession, and a whole host of other dental health and general wellness issues. It's best to avoid using tobacco products altogether. Knowing that it leads to so many health issues, consider this yet another compelling reason to kick the habit for good.

Bad Diet and Nutrition

If you do not eat a well-balanced diet, there is a good chance you'll wind up suffering from gum disease or tooth decay. Be sure to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, and to avoid junk food and too much sugar. A common sense approach to your diet can go a long way toward lasting wellness.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding puts a great deal of stress on the gums, causing recession to occur if the condition goes untreated. If you notice any signs or symptoms of teeth grinding, be sure to speak with your dentist about your options for treatment.


People who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease and many other dental health problems. If you suffer from diabetes, be sure to keep your blood sugar monitored and to remember your insulin. Be attentive with your oral hygiene as well.

Changes in Hormones

Hormonal changes can lead to a greater susceptibility to gum disease. This is especially true of adolescents and women who are pregnant or going through menopause. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontal health problems in these cases.

Genetics and Family History

Some people may be genetically more likely to suffer from gum disease and tooth decay. If this is the case, the best option for care is to brush and floss regularly, eat a health diet, and visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups.

Learn More About Periodontal Health

For more information about improving the health of your gums and preventing all kinds of dental problems, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. We will help you smile with renewed confidence.

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