7 hidden causes of gum disease

bad teeth and gum disease - the hidden causesGum disease is very common in our society and dentists love to tell you about the expensive treatments you will need to correct this condition.

However the state of your gums is a reflection of the state of your health generally, and your mouth and gums can provide an instant snapshot of your immune system and your body. Many modern degenerative diseases are associated with poor gum health and in order to keep both your body and your gums healthy you need pay attention to your body as a whole.

Diseases which have been linked to bad teeth and gums include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Strokes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mental decline
  • Cancer

So before you submit to expensive and often unnecessary treatment see if any of the seven hidden causes of gum disease could be applicable to you.

1. An excess of refined carbohydrates in your diet.

The mouth bacteria responsible for causing dental plaque love sugar.  High glycaemic index foods such as refined sugar, potatoes, white rice, white bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits etc. provide these bacteria with a steady supply of sugar to feed on.

2. Nutritional deficiencies

There is now a lot of evidence which points to nutritional deficiencies as a factor in gum disease. Common deficiencies include

  • CoQ10 – supplementing can quickly heal periodontal disease
  • Vitamin C – even minimal supplementation can lead to rapid improvement
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • B Vitamins – especially B6 and Folic acid
3. Mercury

Amalgam fillings contribute to poor gum health. If you decide to have them removed, make sure you go to a dentist experienced in their removal

4. Smoking

It is estimated that smoking quadruples your chances of developing advanced periodontal disease. Smoking reduces both oxygen and nutrient supply to the gums and interferes with the body’s natural inflammation control mechanisms.

5. Mouth Breathing

Saliva is a very important part of the natural process of mouth hygiene and helps to keep bacteria at bay. If you breathe through your mouth, particularly when sleeping, then your saliva will tend to dry up.

6. Stress

A high degree of stress can reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth and cause it to become more acidic. Constant stress can also affect the state of your gums indirectly by robbing the body of the nutrients it needs for general (and gum) health, and the body finds it harder to control inflammatory processes or fight back against invaders.

7. Prescription drugs

Various drugs can affect your gum health. These include:

  • Anti-depressants – these cause dry mouth and hence less saliva
  • Contraceptive pill – increases mouth bacteria
  • Cold remedies – cause drying of the saliva and mucous in the mouth
  • Blood pressure drugs- can affect gum tissue

Putting right any of the above mentioned causes can go a long way to greatly improving the health of your gums.


  1. Kebba Buckley Button

    Dot, another superb, interesting, useful article! So glad I found you thru the UBC!

  2. Good one, Dot!
    Other important factors are an anti-inflammatory diet, adequate Vitamin A, a serum phosphorus level of 3.5+ and a serum albumin level of 4.3 +. Little do people know that there are miles of tubules in each tooth that act like a pump- if these #s are good. They act like suction to pull sugars and bacteria into the tooth if they are too low.

    Vitamin K is also hugely important. Vitamin D pulls the calcium into a usable space, vitamin K2 (MK-7 menaquinone) pushes it into the bones and teeth… otherwise it can end up in vessels and cause atherosclerosis.

    Cavities and other mouth issues are very much a body chemistry issue.
    Laurie recently posted..Waking up at the same time every night? Check the Chinese Medicine clockMy Profile

    • Thanks for the additional info Laurie. I am planning a follow on post about how to care for your teeth and treat gum disease without resorting to the dentist. When I had some dental health issues of my own it prompted me to really look into this area. I didn’t know about the serum levels though.

  3. Very interesting, I was going to have a tooth pulled a few months ago. Then I was reading on tooth health, and I do believe the cavity is getting smaller. It doesn’t hurt any more either. You can heal your teeth.
    Debbie recently posted..Benefits of Goat’s Milk. #3My Profile

  4. My uncle has been battling heart problems for a while! I am not sure how it took so long for him to figure out that it was due to his dental hygiene. He thinks it’s too late to change his lifestyle because he is in his 70’s. I think that even though it might not reverse everything his done to himself, it’s better than nothing.

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