Periodontal disease is characterized by an infection in the gums. As the condition progresses, pockets form around the roots of the teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to a number of complex oral health problems, such as gum recession, tooth mobility, bad breath, and even tooth loss.
Here, our team at Periodontal Associates in Englewood, NJ explores gum disease statistics and explains how patients can maintain healthy gums with routine periodontal care.
Gum Disease Statistics
Gum disease is common. It can also cause a host of other health-related issues. In the sections below, we will explore a few surprising statistics about the condition.
Nearly Half of the American Population Has Gum Disease
Just over 47 percent of American adults aged 30 or older suffer from some form of gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that translates to 64.7 million individuals with gingivitis, periodontitis, or advanced periodontitis.
Gum Disease Is the Leading Cause of Tooth Loss
Among adults, periodontal disease is the single largest factor for tooth loss. As gum disease progresses, the supporting bone erodes, creating pockets around the tooth roots. Over time, the teeth become loose and may eventually fall out.
Gum Disease Is More Prevalent in Men than Women
While 34 percent of women suffer from gum disease, the risk is much greater in men. In fact, according to the CDC, about 56 percent of men have some form of periodontal disease.
Those who smoke have even a higher risk of developing the condition; nearly 65 percent of all smokers have been diagnosed with gum disease.
Gum Disease Causes More Tooth Loss Than Decay
If you are over the age of 35, you are more likely to experience tooth loss due to gum disease than cavities. That is why regular dental checkups and routine periodontal care are so important.
Gum Disease Affects Pregnancy
Did you know that women with unhealthy gums are statistically more likely to have low birthweight babies? There is also a risk of increased premature delivery in women with gum disease.
Because hormone fluctuations can exacerbate gum disease, it is important for pregnant women to seek proper periodontal care.
Gum Disease Can Cause Other Whole-Body Health Issues
Research has confirmed a link between gum health and whole-body health. For example, if an infection is present in the oral cavity, it is also present elsewhere in the body, as the bacteria is carried to vital organs and tissues through the bloodstream.
Gum disease can significantly increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes, and more.
Gum Disease Has a Genetic Component
There is a common misconception that those experiencing gum disease do not practice healthy oral hygiene habits. However, about 30 percent of individuals who develop the condition have a family history of periodontal disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Proper oral hygiene combined with regular dental visits can significantly reduce the risk for gum disease. Oral bacteria repopulate every few months. To combat this, routine cleanings should be performed at intervals determined by your dentist.
While many patients can maintain healthy teeth and gums with six-month cleanings, some patients may require visits every three to four months, especially those that prone to gum disease.
Contact Our Practice Today
During a consultation at our practice, your doctor can determine an effective oral hygiene regimen for you. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (201) 567-7766.