Sean Abidin, DDS • Vanessa Cao, DDS phone (614) 882-9828

Causes of Gum Disease

Closeup of a sink and toothbrush with blood from bleeding gums due to gum disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition characterized by inflammation, irritation, and infection of the gums that can result in tooth loss. As gums become inflamed and irritated, they begin to bleed, recede, and separate from your teeth. Bacteria accumulate in these pockets, causing bad breath and further irritation. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing gum disease, as well as exacerbate existing gum disease.

Plaque Buildup

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. This sticky film of bacteria forms on your teeth and builds up under the gumline throughout the day. When it feasts upon your dietary sugar, it produces acidic byproducts that irritate your gums and weaken your enamel.


Smoking causes dry mouth, which means you don’t produce enough saliva to wick bacteria off the surface of your teeth. Because of this, you can experience accelerated plaque buildup. Nicotine also suppresses your immune system so your body is less able to fight off infection in the gums.


Vitamin deficiencies and a diet high in sugar make you more susceptible to gum disease. For example, vitamin C promotes strong gums and vitamin A is necessary for sufficient saliva production. Consume sugar in moderation and a wide variety of whole foods to obtain essential vitamins and minerals.


Certain medications, including some antibiotics and birth control, can promote plaque growth because they reduce saliva production, causing dry mouth.

Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth are harder to properly clean. Because of this, you’re more likely to develop gum disease because bacteria and food debris get trapped in hard-to-reach areas.

Gum Disease Treatment in Westerville, OH

Are currently experiencing bleeding and swollen gums, bad breath, or loose teeth? Our team at Sean Abidin, DDS, & Vanessa Cao, DDS, can help you get back on track. We can determine if you require specialized treatment to remove plaque and tartar from under the gumline, antibiotics, or other periodontal therapy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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Sean Abidin, DDS & Vanessa Cao, DDS