General Causes:

• Family History of Dental Disease
• Poor Nutrition
• Hormonal changes from pregnancy, puberty, menopause and monthly menstruation
• Illness, such as cancer or HIV that interferes with immune systems.
• Some drugs and medications
• Stress
• Clenching or grinding your teeth


Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. Smokers are much more likely than nonsmokers to have calculus form on their teeth, have deeper pockets between the teeth and gums and lose more of the bone and tissue that support your teeth. Smoking also causes bad breath and stains your teeth.

Oral Piercings

Oral piercing (usually on the tongue or around the lips) is one of the more disturbing fashion trends in recent years. Many people fail to realize the harmful, long term consequences such as cracked or chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and ugly scars that can result from oral piercing.

The most dangerous long term health problems associated with oral piercings come in the form of soft tissue damage to the cheeks, gums and palate, as well as opportunistic infections. Body piercing may place you at risk for other infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.


If you are a 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. Individuals living with diabetes are vulnerable to a host of systemic problems their entire life. Unfortunately, many diabetics with oral problems can go undiagnosed until conditions become advanced.

Diabetics are often plagued by diminished saliva production, which can hamper the proper cleansing of cavity-causing debris and bacteria from the mouth. Blood sugar levels that are unbalanced can lead to the promotion of cavities and gum disease.

Evidence also indicates that periodontal disease can worsen glycemic control. It is well established that infectious and inflammatory processes increase insulin resistance, leading to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). Periodontal disease has both infectious and inflammatory components. Learn about women and periodontal diseases