Periodontal Disease - Causes
The accumulation of bacterial plaque and tartar between the gums and teeth is the chief cause of most periodontal diseases. If plaque is not removed daily by brushing and flossing, bacteria produce infections that destroy the supporting tissues around the teeth, including the bone.
Other factors can contribute to the development of gum disease. The hormonal changes that occur during puberty and pregnancy can make the gums more susceptible to bacterial infection. Poor nutrition and a diet rich in sugar-containing foods and beverages can increase the risk of gum disease. People who use tobacco products are more likely to get periodontal diseases and suffer from the more severe forms. Diseases such as leukemia or AIDS lower resistance to infection and can make gum disease more severe or harder to control.
Bruxism —the nervous habit, often unconsciously done, of clenching and grinding the teeth—can contribute to the development of periodontal disease. Bruxism frequently occurs during sleep.
Another contributing cause to periodontal disease is repeated shock or undue pressure on a tooth because of malocclusion , or an improper bite. This effect accelerates damage to the tooth and gum structure during such simple activities as biting and chewing.