More adults in the United States have gum disease than one would think.
A new study shows that about 50 percent of American adults age 30 and older have gum disease. The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Dental Research.
Periodontitis is a major problem and leads to tooth loss in many cases.
To compile the data for this study, a research team looked through data from a previous study involving 3,700 adults age 30 and older. There were 47 percent of the people who had periodontitis—9 percent had mild gum disease, 30 percent suffered from moderate gum disease and 8.5 percent had severe gum disease. According to this information, roughly 65 million American adults have gum disease.
The research also concluded that 64 percent of adults age 65 and older had some type of periodontitis that could at least be considered moderate. This estimation is much larger than previous studies have indicated, according to the lead author Paul Eke.
The study also showed that the gum disease rates were highest for males, Mexican Americans, adults with less than a high school education, adults whose income would be considered below the poverty line and people that currently smoke.
There are several warning signs for gum disease, including swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Chronic bad breath is another sign of gum disease.