Periodontal Diseases Symptoms & Causes

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Contact the Periodontics Program

  • 1-617-355-4737

In-Depth

As with many other oral health diseases, bacteria and plaque build-up is often the culprit. In fact, plaque build-up is the leading cause of gum disease. Other potential causes of gum disease include:

  • genetics
  • poor oral hygiene
  • food stuck in the gums frequently (may be due to a malocclusion, or "bad bite")
  • mouth breathing (may lead to severe drying of the gums and teeth in front of the mouth)
  • a diet low in nutrients and/or a vitamin C deficiency
  • smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco
  • autoimmune or systemic diseases
  • diabetes
  • hormonal changes in the body
  • bruxism (incessant clenching and grinding of the teeth)
  • certain medications (some medications cause an overgrowth of the gums that can lead to periodontal disease)

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

The following are the most common symptoms of gum disease. However, each adolescent may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • bleeding while brushing and/or flossing
  • receding gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • persistent odorous breath
  • dentures no longer fit
  • puss between the teeth and gums
  • change in bite and jaw alignment
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