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Who can get gum disease?

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Gum disease advice

Who can get
gum disease?

Whilst more than 45% of adults in the UK are affected by some form of gum disease, there are a variety of risk factors that may contribute to the development of periodontal disease and/or its progression. It’s important to talk to your periodontist with any concerns you may have for early detection of the disease and to establish the right treatment plan.

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Some of the contributing risk factors include:


Studies have indicated that the older population have the highest rates of periodontal disease, with as many as 70% of over 65s experiencing some form of gum disease.


It’s no secret that tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, among many other health problems. It’s perhaps lesser known that smoking and tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.


Despite diligent at-home oral hygiene habits, research has indicated that some people may unfortunately be genetically susceptible to developing gum disease. For these people, regular dental visits are vital to ensure the development of gum disease is identified early and kept at bay.


Extensive research has proven that stress can make it more difficult for the body’s immune system to fight off infection; periodontal disease is no exception.


Just as you would inform your health care providers of any medication you are taking, you should also let your periodontist know about the medication. Some pharmaceutical drugs, including oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medications have been shown to affect your oral and gum health.

Clenching or grinding your teeth

Putting excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth, clenching or grinding your teeth could potentially speed up the progression of periodontal tissue destruction.

Other systemic diseases

Studies have demonstrated a connection between periodontal disease and other systemic conditions that interfere with the body’s inflammatory system. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have all been linked to deterioration of the gums.

Poor nutrition or obesity

Research has shown that obesity may increase the risk of an individual developing periodontal disease. Even without being clinically obese, a diet low on nutrients can compromise the body’s immune response and make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection. Gum disease always begins as an infection and therefore poor nutrition can lead to a decline in your gum health.

To find out more about treating gum disease please call us on 020 3925 1938 to speak to our friendly team or fill out our contact form.