Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can cause discomfort and lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Some risk factors are preventable, while others are not. Listed below are the risk factors.

Family History

Having a family history of gum disease increases your risk for this disease. Bacteria that cause gum disease can be passed from parent to child or between siblings, even if no one in a family has symptoms. If someone in your family is diagnosed with gum disease, be sure to tell your dentist and hygienist so they can take extra precautions when cleaning your teeth.

Also, keep in mind that if someone in your family has gum disease, you’re more likely to have it as well. It’s a good idea to get regular checkups so any issues can be identified and treated as soon as possible.


Smokers are more likely to suffer from gum disease than non-smokers. In fact, research has shown that smokers are up to four times more likely to lose teeth to periodontal disease than those who never smoked cigarettes. Tobacco use also causes discoloration of the teeth and gums and can lead to oral cancer. Cigarette smoke irritates the gums and causes them to recede from the teeth. The toxins in the smoke can also cause tissue death in the mouth. A receding gum line means it is easier for bacteria to get under the gum tissue and cause an infection.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to prevent these issues and keep your mouth healthy. In addition to brushing, you should floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that naturally builds up on teeth. If not properly removed, the bacteria can attack your teeth and gums and cause cavities and gum disease. You should never ignore signs of periodontal disease, so schedule an appointment at your dentist’s office right away if you notice anything out of the ordinary!


Some people have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, which can make treatment more difficult. If one or both of your parents have gum disease, you are at increased risk for it as well. However, making smart oral care choices will minimize your risk for gum disease.


To find out more about the dental services offered at Arlington Family Dental Care, call (817) 274-8439 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit a Dentist in Arlington, TX, at 2621 Matlock Road, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76015.

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