Who’s at the Greatest Risk for Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is extremely common in the United States, with nearly half of adults over age 30 affected by some degree of periodontitis. Periodontal disease begins as gum disease (also known as gingivitis), which is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria along your gumline. Over time, this develops into more serious inflammation that can cause permanent tissue damage and even tooth loss. Keep reading to find out who is at the greatest risk of developing this disease.
Smokers are much more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, regularly treats patients who have suffered severe tissue damage from a lifetime of smoking. He recommends avoiding tobacco use altogether, including dipping and chewing, to improve your overall dental health and reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease.
People with Other Medical Conditions
Medical conditions like diabetes and AIDS are often linked to periodontal disease. Anyone with a weakened immune system is at a higher risk of developing gum disease because the body has a hard time fighting off 2 diseases at once. Certain medications also increase your chance of developing periodontal disease. If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, contact our team of professionals to discuss steps you can take to reduce your risk of periodontal disease.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that periodontal disease is more prevalent in ethnic minorities such as Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. As with other cases of periodontal disease, it is most common in those over 30 years old and can still be prevented with healthy dental practices. The study recommends that anyone with an elevated risk of developing periodontal disease should visit their dentist at least once a year for a thorough examination. Talk to your Newton dentist, Dr. Ryne Johnson and his team of professionals, if you have any concerns about your dental health or want to learn more about preventing periodontal disease.
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