What you need to know about Periodontal Disease


Periodontal Disease Risk Factors

The main cause of periodontal (gum) disease is plaque, but other factors affect the health of your gums.


Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that over 70{727bdf8d0b378f6fa1c373cedb1485e72b0f75ef8f768282201a7b2b33b32859} of Americans 65 and older have periodontitis.  

Smoking & Tobacco Usage

Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease. Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.


Research has indicated that some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease, despite aggressive oral care habits. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the disease and getting them into early intervention treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.


Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer, and numerous other health problems. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.

Other Systemic Diseases

Other systemic diseases that interfere with the body's inflammatory system may worsen the condition of the gums. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Poor Nutrition & Obesity

A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body's immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums. In addition, research has shown that obesity may increase the risk of periodontal disease.

Gum Disease Information

Periodontal (gum) disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and may be associated with other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.


Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. It is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.


Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and bone around your teeth causing an inflammatory response. If not treated the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed, possibly leading to tooth loss. Periodontal health is important to a healthy body. Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several serious medical problems, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal disease, but may also help with the management of other conditions.

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