Half of American Adults Suffer from Gum Disease

For the majority of our population, the term “gum disease” is not a foreign term. Most everyone is familiar with routine dental checkups and cleanings, and there is no escaping the wide selection of power toothbrushes, mouth rinses, and disease-fighting toothpastes that are on the market. Still, current CDC research has shown that a whopping 47% of American adults are suffering from periodontal disease.

Until the most recent Centers for Disease Control study was conducted, there was conflicting information about the public health risk that gum disease presents. Although gum disease has long been associated with our aging population, many young and middle-aged adults with the disease had been overlooked. What was once considered a disease that would impact mainly our senior citizens has actually been found to affect almost half of all American adults over the age of 30, though it has been widely overlooked and underdiagnosed.


It is easy to understand how such a widespread disease could be overlooked. Gum disease is chronic infection that can progress silently, reaching dangerously advanced stages without causing pain or other outwardly noticeable symptoms. It can also affect individual teeth rather than the entire mouth. Localized gum disease around a few teeth is perhaps more common than a generalized infection involving all of the teeth. In light of this characteristic, it is critical that the health of the gums and bone around every single tooth be evaluated for the most accurate detection of an infection.

For the purposes of the early CDC studies, a periodontal screening (spot-checking) had been performed rather than a comprehensive evaluation of each tooth. This small difference in the way that information is collected can make an enormous difference in the number of disease cases that are reported.

Based on CDC evidence, and to prevent the rise of gum disease, the CDC recommends that all adults have a comprehensive periodontal examination at least once every year. To schedule your professional evaluation, contact the office of Drs. Susan Karabin and Edward Gottesman at 212-756-8890 today.

Dr. Gottesman Appearing on American Health Front on WNBC
Dr. Gottesman Chairs NESP Spring Program in New York.