Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention

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By Dr. Premendra Goyal, Dentistry

The mouth consists of different kinds of bacteria; these bacteria along with mucus, form plaque (a sticky teeth deposit). When this plaque is not cleansed properly through proper brushing and oral hygiene, it causes periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases affect the gums, alveolar bone (the bone that consists of the tooth socket) and periodontal ligament.


Periodontal disease is mainly caused due to poor oral hygiene. Some of the main causes of periodontal disease are:

  1. Genes: Genes may be one of the factors of periodontal disease as having a family history of periodontal diseases has been proven to raise the risks even more.
  2. Smoking tobacco: Smoking increases the risk of getting affected by periodontal disease. Smoking causes you to accumulate more tartar on the teeth, thus aggravating the risks. Smoking has also been known to slow down the treatment process.
  3. Crooked, misaligned or braced teeth: Crooked, misaligned or braced teeth make it harder to brush and clean the teeth as it is difficult for the brush to reach certain areas. This causes the tartar to collect on certain parts of the gums and cause severe damage to it.
  4. Stress: Stress is an important cause of developing periodontal disease as it disrupts the body’s immune system. Like smoking, stress also slows down the entire process of treatment.
  5. Poor nutrition: Your body needs proper nutrition in order to strengthen the immune system that helps fight various diseases, one of them being periodontal diseases.


  1. Bad breaths
  2. Bleeding from the gums
  3. Tender teeth
  4. Swelling of the gums
  5. Tooth sensitivity


  1. Medications may be prescribed by the periodontist.
  2. Surgery may also be required for more severe cases of periodontal diseases.


  1. Brush your teeth twice daily, preferably with fluoride based toothpaste.
  2. Floss to get rid of the tartar formed in the spaces between the teeth.
  3. Go for regular oral check-ups.
  4. Quit smoking.