Causes of Periodontal Disease

Gum Disease Pasadena TexasPasadena, Deer Park Texas: Causes of Periodontal Disease  

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a disease which if left untouched will result in gum tissue, bone and tooth loss. Periodontal disease is painless and for people who don’t visit the dentist regularly the first sign of the disease is tooth mobility. By that time, it is to late. However, gum disease begins slowly with the inflammation and irritation of the gum and bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. Bacteria in plaque coat the teeth at the gum line. The bacteria release toxins and the destruction of the gum tissue and bone around teeth begins. The gum tissue and bone try to escape the toxins and peel away from the teeth.  This creates a larger pocket for the bacteria to grow in and you are unable to reach the bacteria with your tooth brush.

An important part of your dental health is to have a periodontal examination. At our office we do the exam for new patients and once a year for existing patients. Once gum disease is diagnosed, our Hygienists can treat the disease and reverse the effects of the disease. On the other hand, if the bacterial infection is allowed to advance periodontal disease will arise and wreak havoc on the gum tissue and jaw bone. Gum disease eradicates the gums the underlying jaw bone. Consequently, the teeth will no longer have support tissue and the teeth will become loose and fall out. Lastly, the bacteria from the infection can travel to other areas of the body via the bloodstream.

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 Reasons for Periodontal Disease

There are genetic and environmental factors involved in gum disease. In many cases the risk of developing periodontal disease can be significantly lowered by taking precautionary measures.

  • Poor Dental Hygiene – Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. Dr. Nugent recommends electric toothbrushes, flossing, water picks, fluoride treatments (to prevent cavities and to strengthen teeth) and limiting sugar intake. Likewise, prevention includes regular dental hygiene visits which comprise of an exam, cleaning, and x-rays.  A regiment of excellent home care and professional dental care at our office can keep your mouth is peek oral health.  When bacteria and calculus (tartar) are not removed, the gums and bone around the teeth become infected by bacterial toxins. This causes gingivitis that leads to periodontal disease, which leads to tooth loss.


  • Uncontrolled Diabetes –  Diabetes hampers the body’s ability to utilize insulin which makes the bacterial infection in the gums more difficult to control and cure. Thickening of blood vessels is a problem of diabetes that may increase risk for gum disease. Blood vessels deliver oxygen and nourishment to body tissues, including the mouth, and carry away the tissues’ waste products. Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, which reduces the flow of nutrients and the removal of harmful wastes. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue to infection. Bacteria flourish on sugars, including glucose — the sugar linked to diabetes. When diabetes is poorly controlled, high glucose levels in mouth fluids may help germs grow and set the stage for gum disease. It is important to note that people whose diabetes is well controlled have no more periodontal disease than persons without diabetes.


  • Tobacco Use – Research shows smoking and tobacco use is one of the most substantial factors in the advancement and progression of periodontal disease. The toxic chemicals in tobacco destroy the gum tissue and bone levels in the mouth. Additionally, tobacco users experience a slower recovery and healing rate. Also, smokers have increased calculus build up on teeth, deep pockets in the gum tissue and significant bone loss. Lastly, smokers are five times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease.


  • Genetic Susceptibility – Despite practicing meticulous oral hygiene routines, up to 30% of the population may have a strong genetic predisposition to gum disease.


  • Pregnancy and menopause – During pregnancy, regular brushing and flossing is critical. There are huge hormonal changes. The fine capillaries in the gum tissue become more sensitive, rendering them more susceptible to gum disease. Expecting mothers can develop pregnancy gingivitis.


  • Chronic stress and poor diet – Stress lowers the ability of the immune system to fight off disease. Hence, bacterial infections are easier to become established. Poor diet or malnutrition can also lower the body’s ability to fight gum infections.


  • Medication – Many drugs including oral contraceptive pills, heart medicines, anti-depressants and steroids affect the overall condition of the gum tissue.


Treatment of Gum Disease

Dr. Nugent’s amazing Hygienists can perform cleaning procedures in deep pockets such as scaling and root planing to fight the gum tissue infection. Plus, they will use anti-bacterial rinses to flush the pockets and use a laser to kill bacteria.

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Preventing periodontal disease is vital in preserving your teeth.  Addressing the causes of gum disease and discussing them with Dr. Nugent and team will help prevent the onset, progression, and recurrence of periodontal disease. Call our office today at 713-941-8261 and become a part of our award winning dental office. We are located at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504.

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