Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop periodontal disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing periodontal disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your dentist or doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
- ]]>Smoking]]>—Smoking greatly increases your risk of developing periodontal disease. It also greatly reduces the chance that treatments for periodontal disease will be effective.
- Poor nutrition—An unhealthy diet (eg, one that is high in fat and low in ]]>vitamin C]]>) can increase your chance of periodontal disease.
- Stress—Stress can hamper your body’s ability to fight off the infection that prompts periodontal disease.
In girls and women: conditions that cause changes in hormone levels, such as
- ]]>Herpes]]> infections
- Autoimmune diseases, including
- ]]>Down syndrome]]>
- ]]>Wegener’s granulomatosis]]>
Taking certain medications can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, such as:
Your risk of developing periodontal disease increases as you age:
- 25% of people between 30-44 years have at least mild periodontitis
- 40% of people between 45-54 years have at least mild periodontitis
- 50% of people between 65-74 years have at least mild periodontitis
Women are more likely than men to develop periodontitis, probably because of hormonal changes that women experience throughout their life cycle.
There seems to be a genetic tendency for certain people to develop periodontitis.
African Americans and people of Hispanic origin have a higher rate of periodontitis than do Caucasian Americans.
Other factors that may increase your risk of periodontitis include:
- Living in poverty
- Having poor dental hygiene
- Having badly fitting dentures and/or uneven fillings or crowns
- Being a habitual mouth breathing
Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Updated May 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease/. Updated December 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/periodontal_diseases.asp. Updated March 2005. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Last reviewed April 2009 by ]]>Laura Morris-Olson, DMD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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