What other factors can contribute to periodontal disease?

Although plaque is the primary cause of periodontal diseases, there are other secondary factors that can affect the health of your gums.

  • Health: if you are diabetic, you are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal diseases. These infections can impair the ability to process and/or utilize insulin, which may cause your diabetes to be more difficult to control and your infection to be more severe than a non-diabetic.
  • Smoking (tobacco): tobacco users are more likely to get periodontal diseases and suffer from the more severe forms of this disease. This can also cause healing to take more time following treatment.
  • Pregnancy and puberty: some hormonal changes can cause the gums to become red and bleed easily. Pre-existing periodontal diseases can become more severe.
  • Stress: stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections like periodontal diseases. This can also allow the infection to become more severe.
  • Medications: some medications like oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. That is why it is important for you to inform your periodontist of the medicines you are taking and any changes in your health history.