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Risk factors for gum disease are more common than you might think. The risk factors for periodontal disease include smoking, diabetes, genetic susceptibility, stress, grinding or clenching teeth, advanced age, certain medications affecting oral health, poor diet and obesity. Men have an increased chance of periodontal disease compared to women. Advanced plaque or tartar build-up increases the susceptibility of developing periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a major problem in the United States. Some estimates by the Center for Disease Control suggest that as many as 47.2 percent of U.S. adults 30 or older live with some form of periodontitis. Approximately 70 percent of U.S. adults 65 and older have periodontal disease. Men account for 56.4 percent of periodontal disease in the U.S., with women accounting for the other 38.4 percent.

Gum disease does have some side effects. Some studies have found correlations between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes, premature birth, rheumatoid arthritis and dementia. These links may be caused by bacteria from the infected gums traveling into the bloodstream and vital organs. Inflammation in gum disease may also be responsible for some of the links to other diseases.

Luckily, periodontal disease is usually preventable with good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth and flossing after meals, using mouthwash, and visiting your dentist regularly will help you prevent periodontal disease and related side effects. Stick to the dental hygiene essentials and your happy and healthy gums will stick to you!

If you think you may be at risk for gum disease, schedule an appointment with our office in Houston, Texas, by calling our office at 281-328-3569 now. Dr. Jim Nored & Annette Gemp and the entire team at Crosby Dental Center are here to help you!