Could you be one of the millions of people who have gum disease and don’t know it? The American Academy of Periodontology’s risk assessment test will help you see if you are at risk for having or developing periodontal (gum) disease. Millions of people don’t know they have this serious infection that can lead to tooth loss if not treated. Answer these questions to assess your gum disease risk:
Your chances of developing periodontal disease increase considerably as you get older. Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease and need to do more to maintain good oral health.
Studies suggest there are genetic differences between men and women that affect the risk of developing gum disease. While women tend to take better care of their oral health than men do, women’s oral health is not markedly better than men’s. This is because hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s life can affect many tissues, including gum tissue.
Bleeding gums can be one of the signs of gum disease. Think of gum tissue as the skin on your hand. If your hands bled every time you washed them, you would know something was wrong. However if you are a smoker, your gums may not bleed.
Periodontal disease is a serious inflammatory disease that is caused by a bacterial infection, and leads to destruction of the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. When neglected, teeth can become loose and fall out.
One of the warning signs of gum disease includes gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before.
Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. Smokers are much more likely than non-smokers to have calculus form on their teeth, have deeper pockets between the teeth and gums, and lose more of the bone and tissue that support the teeth.
Daily brushing and flossing will help keep calculus formation to a minimum, but it won’t completely prevent it. A professional dental cleaning at least twice a year is necessary to remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.
Studies demonstrate that including flossing as part of your oral care routine can actually help reduce the amount of gum disease-causing bacteria found in the mouth, therefore contributing to healthy teeth and gums.
Ongoing research suggests that periodontal disease may be linked to these conditions. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body. Healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.
Over the past decade, research has focused on the role chronic inflammation may play in various diseases, including periodontal, or gum, disease. Data suggests having a history of periodontal disease makes you six-times more likely to have future periodontal problems. Periodontal disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease.
The more recent your loss of a tooth due to gum disease, the greater the risk of losing more teeth from the disease. Wisdom teeth, teeth pulled for orthodontic therapy or teeth pulled because of fracture or trauma may not contribute to increased risk for periodontal disease.
Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member. Also, research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.