The primary cause of gum disease is plaque. If you have no plaque you will not get gum disease.
However there are many factors that can contribute and make gum disease worse. Some of these factors with latest research are:
- Smoking: If you smoke you are four times more likely to have gum disease compared to someone who has never smoked
- Diabetes: 2-4 more times likely to develop gum disease
- Pregnancy: pregnant women who have gum disease may have a seven-fold increased risk of delivering a pre-term, low birth weight baby
- Cardiovascular Disease: 2 times more likely to develop gum disease
- Genetic factors: Evidence suggests that there is a significant genetic component to susceptibility of periodontal disease. We now know that there are at least two genes related to gum disease. Genetic testing for these genes is something that is carried out in the USA and is not available here in New Zealand as yet.