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Who Is At Risk

Up to 80 percent of the population, that's who! Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of gum disease and don't even know it. Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria constantly form a sticky, colorless plaque on and around the teeth with little discomfort and a few obvious symptoms in its early stages. If this bacterial infection is not removed from around the teeth it will lead to more advanced periodontal disease and left untreated it will continue to spread destroying gum tissue, teeth, bone and may lead to additional health problems such as heart disease, stroke or complications with diabetes and pregnancy. Other factors which increase the risk of gum disease are smoking, tobacco use, certain medications which reduce saliva flow, genetic susceptibility, hormonal fluctuations, bruxism, stress, diabetes, cancer and any diseases resulting in immunosuppression. Treatments of diseases such as cancer and HIV can also negatively affect the health of gums. Even patients who practice good oral hygiene can be susceptible to gum disease.