What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is ultimately an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque and bacteria at the gumline.

Plaque Formation:

As you eat throughout your day, a layer of sticky food particles tend to build up at the base of teeth just above the gumlines. This sticky layer of buildup is what is commonly known as plaque. Brushing and flossing twice a day is usually good enough to effectively remove plaque from on and between your teeth.

Tartar Formation:

If plaque is allowed to sit at the gumline due to not brushing and flossing correctly or at all it will start to harden into tartar. This hard, color-less tartar uses the sugars left on teeth from foods and drinks and causes bacteria to form right at the gumline. Tartar is not removable during normal brushing and flossing. We can successfully remove tartar during a routine dental checkup so it is important that you come in for regular dental cleanings.


The bacteria produced from plaque and tartar works its way beneath the gums which causes inflammation and could cause some discomfort. Red/inflamed gums are the beginning signs of gingivitis. This bacteria can often be stopped but as long as tartar remains in your mouth, it will continue to produce harmful bacteria and gum disease will continue to get worse.

Other Factors:

There are other factors that can contribute to gum disease in addition to plaque and bad oral hygiene. These include:

Increased gum sensitivity due to pregnancy can lead to inadequate brushing and flossing thus helping the formation of gum disease.

Some medications can decrease the production of saliva. Saliva is your mouths protection throughout the day and created a barrier between food particles and your teeth and gums. Chewing gum can promote an increase in saliva production.

Smoking makes it harder for gum tissues to heal when trying to fight gum disease and can actually help gum disease advance. Call us today 865-539-1119 or www.deancosmeticdentistry.com

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