Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, affects nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are three main stages of gum disease – gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. If not treated properly, periodontal disease can result in loss of bone and teeth. If you show warning signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment with a periodontist at Rutgers Health University Dental Associates.

Causes of Gum Disease

Bacteria in the mouth forms a film called plaque that is the primary cause of periodontal disease. When bacteria are allowed to grow in the mouth, they can cause inflammation of the gingival tissues. If untreated, the inflammation can affect the bony support of the teeth, eventually leading to loss of teeth. It is important to seek treatment at the first sign of periodontal disease to prevent its progression.

Periodontal Disease Risk Factors

A number of risk factors increase your risk for developing gum disease, including heredity, hormonal changes and certain medications. In addition, the following risk factors are also associated with periodontal disease:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene habits
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • HIV
  • Crooked teeth
  • Defective fillings


Oral hygiene and plaque control are the keys to preventing gum disease. Simply brushing, flossing and daily antibacterial mouth rinses can make a huge difference in your oral health overall. You should also schedule biannual professional cleanings with your dentist or a periodontist. You may also wish to consider avoiding tobacco-use, creating a well-balanced diet, or stress-reduction techniques to decrease your risk of gum disease.

Warning Signs

Warning signs include periodontal disease, include red or swollen gums, painful chewing, loose or sensitive teeth and receding gums. Persistent bad breath can also be a sign that you have gum disease, as can tender or bleeding gums. If you experience these or any other symptoms, it’s important to get your teeth checked out right away. Contact the Newark or New Brunswick office of Rutgers Health University Dental Associates to schedule an appointment. Our experienced periodontists can recommend gum disease treatments to help restore your oral health.