About Half of U.S. Adults Have Gum Disease

About one out of every two American adults age 30 and over has periodontal (gum) disease according to recent findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had,” said Dr. Pamela McClain, President of the American Academy of Periodontology. “For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country.”

The CDC findings showed that the occurrence of periodontal disease is higher in men than in women (56.4% percent vs. 38.4 percent) and is highest in Mexican Americans (66.7 percent) compared with other races. Other population groups with high rates of periodontal disease include current smokers (64.2 percent), those living below the federal poverty level (65.4 percent), and those with less than a high school education (66.9 percent).

Many people don’t know that they have periodontal disease because it is generally painless and often there are no symptoms until the disease progresses. Common symptoms may include bleeding, red inflamed gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. The only way to know for sure that you have periodontal disease is to have a professional examination. Although periodontal disease can’t be cured, it can be controlled with daily brushing and flossing, regular professional examinations and cleanings, and other professional treatment as needed.

Joseph R. Nemeth DDS & Associates is a periodontal practice in Metro Detroit that focuses on treating gum disease and placing implants. Visit their website here or contact their office at 248-357-3100.