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Gum Disease by the Numbers

Gum (or periodontal) disease is one of the leading threats to dental health. It’s typically caused by poor brushing & flossing habits that allow plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on teeth and harden.

In its early stage, the gums can become red, swollen, & may bleed easily. That’s called gingivitis. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth & form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. This can cause loss of the bone that holds teeth in place, & eventually tooth loss.

To help prevent or control gum disease, it is important to brush daily & floss regularly. Also, make sure to see your dentist for routine checkups.

Almost half, 47.2%, of all adults aged 30 years & older have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease increases with age. 70.1% of adults 65 years & older have periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is more common in men than women. 56.4% vs 38.4%

Smoking can put you at risk for gum problems. In fact, 64.2% of current smokers have gum disease.  

SOURCES: MedlinePlus: Learning about Gum Disease; National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: Preventing Gum Disease Opens new window; Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Periodontal Disease Opens new window

Source: medlineplus.gov

Updated: March 9, 2018 — 2:44 am

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