(HealthDay News) -- Periodontal disease, sometimes called gum disease, attacks and damages tissue called the sulcus that sits just below the gum line.

The American Dental Association mentions these factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products.
  • Having a systemic disease, such as diabetes.
  • Taking certain medications, including anti-epilepsy drugs, steroids and anti-cancer drugs.
  • Having crooked teeth or a bridge that doesn't fit correctly.
  • Being pregnant or taking birth control pills.
  • Having fillings that have become defective.