Gum disease statistics
According to a study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2015, a high burden of periodontitis is present in the United States, with nearly half (45.9%) of the population aged 30 years and older affected.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a low-grade chronic bacterial infection and the number one cause of tooth loss. While everyone has bacteria in their mouth, not everyone develops gum disease. There are identifiable risk factors that can make it more likely for the bacteria in your mouth to result in destructive gum disease. We now know that due to these risk factors, some patients can clean their teeth and visit the dentist religiously and still have gum problems.
Over time, bacteria tend to collect between the teeth and gum. If this debris is not adequately removed, the bacteria migrate deeper under the gum line. In a susceptible patient, a space or “pocket” forms between the tooth and the gum. Once these pockets of bacteria form below the gum line, you cannot reach them—even with good brushing and flossing.The bacteria multiply and cause the gum cells to release a variety of substances that aggravate and inflame the gum tissues. The gum tissue and then the supporting bone are slowly destroyed. If enough bone tissue is destroyed, the teeth loosen and are eventually lost.