Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of
periodontal disease. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention indicates that over 70% of Americans 65 and older have
Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer,
lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health
problems. Tobacco users also are at increased risk for periodontal
disease. Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most
significant risk factors in the development and progression of
Research has indicated that some people may be genetically
susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these
people may be more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying
these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the
disease and getting them into early intervention treatment may help them
keep their teeth for a lifetime.
Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension,
cancer, and numerous other health problems. Stress also is a risk factor
for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it
more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including
Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and
certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Just as you notify
your pharmacist and other health care providers of all medicines you
are taking and any changes in your overall health, you should also
inform your dentist.
Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the
supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which
these periodontal tissues are destroyed.
Other Systemic Diseases
Other systemic diseases that interfere with the body's inflammatory
system may worsen the condition of the gums. These include
cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Poor Nutrition and Obesity
A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body's immune
system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because
periodontal disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen
the condition of your gums. In addition, research has shown that obesity
may increase the risk of periodontal disease.