Causes of Poor Gum Health By drmori on May 27, 2017

Causes of Poor Gum HealthGum disease is a common problem that can have pronounced effects on your oral health. In fact, it is the leading cause of adult tooth loss worldwide. Dr. Joseph Mormino is familiar with the causes of poor gum health and will educate you about the most effective ways to care for your smile.

By improving your dental care, you can often reduce your risk for gum disease. In other cases, when you are aware of your increased risks, you can be more proactive about dental care. If you have already developed gum disease, the restorative dentistry treatments at our Staten Island, NY, practice can repair damaged or missing teeth. Dr. Mormino will also eliminate bacteria for improved oral health. In every case, he offers personalized care for long-lasting wellness.

Dental Hygiene

Oral bacteria are the fundamental cause of gum disease. The naturally occurring microbes will gradually build up, spreading from your teeth to your soft tissues. Once they reach your gums, they will form pockets. At this point, you could experience inflammation, redness, chronic bad breath, bleeding, and other symptoms. Eventually, the expanding pockets will cause your gums to pull away, leading to tooth loss.

Because proper dental care is necessary to combat bacteria, insufficient hygiene is the number one cause of gum disease. To ensure your periodontal wellness, you should brush your teeth twice a day. You should also floss and use mouthwash at least once daily. Your biannual exams and cleanings are essential, as well.


Smoking and other tobacco use is another huge factor in the development of gum disease. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you smoke, you are two times more likely to develop periodontitis than a non-smoker. Most notably, this is because tobacco inhibits your body’s ability to fight infection, causing bacteria to build up more quickly. Furthermore, if you smoke, you likely have some degree of dry mouth. With less saliva, your body is not able to wash away microbes and food particles.


What you eat also plays a role in your oral health. Bacteria survive off of sugars and starches. Therefore, the more of these substances you consume, the more likely you are to suffer from gum disease. To protect your teeth and gums, you should limit sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead, choose vegetables, protein, whole grains, and other complex carbs, which are more difficult for bacteria to break down.


Some prescription and non-prescription drugs can harm your gums. Most commonly, medications can cause dry mouth, producing some of the same effects as nicotine. These drugs include antihistamines, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and more. Less often, seizure medications, immunosuppressants, and other prescriptions can cause excess gum tissue to develop. Known as “gingival overgrowth,” this condition can make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean.

Other Health Conditions

Sometimes, systemic health conditions can also increase the likelihood of gum disease. If you have a compromised immune system, it will be difficult for you to fight off all infection, and this includes oral bacteria. Furthermore, hormonal changes can increase the likelihood of periodontitis. Therefore, if you are pregnant or going through menopause, you may want to schedule a periodontal exam.


You are more likely to develop gum disease if someone in your family suffered from the condition. An awareness of your genetic history is important so you can take steps to protect your oral health. For instance, you may want to schedule more frequent exams and cleanings. You should also be extra cautious about your diet and at-home dental care.

Gum Disease Treatment with Dr. Mormino

If you have already developed gum disease, Dr. Mormino can often restore your oral health. While there is no cure for this chronic condition, appropriate treatment can remove bacteria and prevent flare-ups. Scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning, is the most common treatment option. For severe gum disease, your dentist may recommend advanced flap surgery. After restoring your healthy gums, Dr. Mormino will provide treatment to replace any teeth that you may have lost due to periodontitis.

Contact Us to Learn More about Periodontal Wellness

Learn more about the causes of poor gum health and find out how you can protect your smile. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or to speak to a member of our team.

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Dr. Mormino and team

Dr. Joseph T. Mormino, DDS

Dr. Mormino is a member of several prestigious organizations:

  • American Dental Association
  • Second District Dental Association
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologist 
  • Academy of General Dentistry 

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (718) 876-9100 today!

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