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What causes gum disease?

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Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, is the main cause of gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Other causes include:

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation. They make your gums more sensitive.
  • Illnesses like cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Diabetes also raises the chances for gum disease.
  • Medications that slow the flow of saliva, which helps protect teeth and gums.
  • Smoking, which make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.
  • Not brushing and flossing every day.
  • Family history of dental disease.

SOURCE: 

American Academy of Periodontology.

American Dental Association.

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on March 17, 2019

SOURCE: 

American Academy of Periodontology.

American Dental Association.

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on March 17, 2019

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What are the symptoms of gum disease?

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