Gentle Dental of West Chester
125 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380

Beyond Plaque – Other Significant Risk Factors for Gum Disease

dca-blog_gum-disease-seniors-uncomfortable-man

Tooth loss is an unfortunate result of gum disease. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. As it advances to involve supportive structures and bone, it becomes known as periodontitis. Gum disease is usually a direct result of months or years of poor oral hygiene. If it is not removed by brushing and flossing, plaque builds up on tooth surfaces and causes infection and inflammation. Although neglect is the most prevalent risk factor, it isn’t the only one. Several important but lesser-known risk factors for gum disease are listed below.

  • Smoking and tobacco use is one of the most significant risk factors for gum disease.
  • Drugs, including antidepressants, contraceptives, and heart medications, can negatively affect gum health and increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Systemic diseases that cause inflammatory reactions may worsen gum health. These illnesses include cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
  • Emotional and mental stress contribute to periodontal disease risk by making it more difficult for the body to fight infections, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Teeth grinding and clenching strain the supporting tissues that hold teeth in place and can speed up the progression of gum disease and destruction.
  • Genetics may be a risk factor for gum disease for some people. Genetic testing and early professional intervention can help those with genetic tendencies for gum disease keep their teeth.
  • Nutritional deficiencies caused by a poor diet affect the body’s immune system, and make it difficult to fight infections, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Obesity has also been linked to increased risk of periodontal disease.
  • Studies show that more than 70 percent of people over the age of 65 have gum disease.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Made me feel comfortable and people were friendly
Pamela J.
I had a great experience. Thank you
Regina G.
Still amazing! Dr. Penfil and Laura! They are awesome!
Jacqueline W.
Fast, great service from friendly staff.
Anonymous
Excellent service and professional staff.
Rebecca A.
treatment was very gentle
Anonymous
As always, I had a great visit.
Lucy D.
Friendly, accommodating, and most importantly the work that's been done on my teeth is fantastic. I could ask for anything more in a practice.
Wesley W.
You guys were awesome !
Matthew R.
Excellent service and great advice.
Lee T.
As always, everyone in the West Chester office are awesome!
Lucy D.
Always a good experience
James K.
Fast and painless tooth extraction
Chris N.
Every one is so nice and they make you feel comfortable !!
Pamela J.
Dr. Valentine is great!
Sean P.
Difficult situation worked out very well so far.
Michael S.
Dr. Valentine is very very nice and very patient with me I know I can be a difficult patient at times. I am thankful to her and her staff
Carolyn B.
Dr. Valentine is very personable, and truly seems to care. She makes sure that you see your X-rays in order to understand exactly what may be an […]
Thomas S.
Most professional, friendly and accomodating.
Frank P.
polite and painless
Douglas L.
Saw me immediately for dental emergency
James K.
Dr Penfill is awesome!!
David G.
Caring, patient treatment. Answered all of my questions and kept me apprised of what was going on. Friendly, excellent and painless care. Very good!
Daniel M.
I have been treated with respect from the front desk, Dentist to the paying of my bill. This is from a life long dentist hater who is no longer in […]
Nancy H.
Extremely kind. Great customer service. They were able to schedule me in for an emergency appointment the same day I called.
Mike C.
I have finally found a dentist (Dr. Valentine) who is absolutely amazing. She is professional, sincere and efficient. I never leave her office […]
Melinda A.
I had a good experience this past Friday. I had 2 teeth extracted by Dr. Valentine. She did a great job. She is very nice and professional at the […]
Patricia D.
The office was clean and the staff was friendly and professional. The doctor was very caring and helpful.
Shauna M.
I was very pleased with Dr. Valentine's professional work. She always makes me feel very comfortable!
Joseph Y.
Great service and everyone was extremely helpful and informative.
Sean P.
Always on time for appointments and very friendly staff.
Anonymous
Both excellent dental care and an efficient and informative office staff and administrative system.
Douglas S.
I was able to get in the same day for a broken filling replacement. I was explained my options to fix the tooth along with the financial impact […]
Curt L.
They do great work very happy and I would recommend everyone to go there.
Elwood C.
Everyone at Gentle Dental is professional and polite. Dr. Valentine checked out my situation and provided me with her professional opinion and […]
John R.
As always, everyone that works at Gentle Dental West Chester are awesome.
Lucy D.
It was pleasurable.
Maria M.
I was taken on time. Service was quick and painless. I had a filling done and a cleaning the previous week. Everyone from the receptionist to the […]
Al K.
Great appointment as always!
Lucy D.
Great dentist, very personable and put me at ease right away. And that's saying something since you usually have to gas me before I'd let you near me.
Dusty T.
very through
Beverly J.
Very accommodating
James K.
The folks at Gentle Dental are professional and friendly.
Anonymous
Painless!
Sharon R.
Great folks to be around during a trip to the dentist. Everything went perfectly! I was in and out before I knew it.
Chris T.
I have been seeing Dr. Penfil for over 25 years and highly recommend this dentist!
Anonymous
very good dentist would recommend to anyone.
Elwood C.
Dr Penfill is very, very thorough
David G.
This is my first visit. The staff is very nice on the phone and in person. I really like Dr. Valentine. She is thorough,caring of my needs and made […]
Susan F.
Dr Valentine continues to be the best dentist I've seen. Quick, painless, efficient. Couldn't be happier.
Bret R.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (484) 643-4417
Our Location