Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection that causes inflammation and bleeding. The condition starts as gingivitis and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. While regular visits to your dentist can help spot the signs of gum disease early on, some people may be more at risk.

The Gum Disease Risk Factors to Know

1. Smoking

Tobacco use is harmful to many aspects of your health, including your oral health. Smokers have twice the risk for periodontal disease as nonsmokers. When you regularly smoke, your body will be less able to eliminate an infection of your gums. This allows the infection to spread and develop into gum disease. 

2. Age

dentistDental health can decline with age, and this includes gum health. About 70% of Americans over the age of 65 have gum disease. And individuals with conditions like diabetes may have an even higher risk. To keep your gums as healthy as possible with age, see your dentist regularly.

3. Pregnancy

Rapid hormone changes, such as those during pregnancy, can cause the mouth to become more inflamed when plaque is present. This is why pregnant women may experience more bleeding in the gums and be diagnosed with gingivitis. Dental care during pregnancy can decrease your risk of developing periodontal disease. 

4. Genetics 

If you have a close family member with periodontal disease, you may have a genetic predisposition to the condition. It’s essential to talk to your dentist about any oral diseases that run in your family. This way, they can check for early signs of gum disease and focus on prevention.

5. Medications

Any medication that causes dry mouth may put you at risk for gum disease. When you have less saliva, it can be more difficult to eliminate bacteria from the mouth. This can cause gum disease when it lingers. If you are experiencing dry mouth, talk to your dentist about managing your risks. 


To control your risk for periodontal disease and other conditions, it’s essential to find a dentist you can trust. C.R. Sfeir D.D.S., General Dentistry has been providing quality dental care to patients in Lorain, OH for 20 years. Dr. Sfeir and his team offer routine cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dentures, and health screenings. They complete every procedure with their patient’s comfort in mind, making the appointment as smooth as possible. To view a full list of their services, visit them online. You can also call (440) 960-5200 to make an appointment.