Periodontal disease is a common oral health condition that can advance to a chronic health problem that affects overall wellbeing. Periodontal (gum) disease, in its varying forms, affects about four out of five adult patients. This condition is marked by the inflammation, irritation, and infection of the gum tissue.
When gum disease goes undiagnosed and untreated, the disease can ultimately destroy hard tissues like teeth and bone. In fact, gum disease is the chief cause of tooth loss in adulthood. Consider the following checklist and your answers to estimate your level of risk for developing periodontal infection.
High-Level Risk Factors
- Do you have a systemic health condition such as diabetes that impairs your immune system?
- Do your gums appear swollen or irritated?
- Have you experienced bleeding when flossing or brushing teeth?
- Have you been diagnosed with heart disease?
- Do you use tobacco products, including chewing tobacco?
- Do your teeth feel loose or looser than they once were?
- Have you neglected daily flossing?
- Are you pregnant or entering menopause?
- Are you receiving orthodontic care such as braces?
Medium-Level Risk Factors
- Are your dietary habits unbalanced or unhealthy?
- Are you older than 40?
- Do you have a family history of gum disease?
- Have you lost one or more teeth?
- Do you take prescriptions such as antidepressants, contraceptives, or heart medications?
- Have you been known to grind your teeth or clench your jaw?
- Do you feel excessive stress?
- Are you foregoing regular professional cleanings every six months?
- Do you forget to floss your teeth for days at a time?
Each “yes” answer to the above questions increases your risk for developing periodontal disease. Beyond practicing proper oral hygiene, a number of factors such as genetic predispositions, certain medications, and hormonal fluctuations contribute to gum disease as well. If you have risks for developing periodontal disease, we welcome you to schedule an examination at our practice to assess your gum health. We offer specialized treatment for all stages of gum disease.