Gum Disease

  • Gum (periodontal) disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the hard and soft structures that support the teeth.1
  • Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.2
  • Tooth loss may affect the ability to chew food and can get worse with the number and type of missing teeth—affecting a person’s diet quality.3
  • Diabetes, tobacco use, a weakened immune system, and poor oral hygiene all increase a person’s risk for gum disease.4
  • Mild gum disease can be controlled and treated with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning. More severe forms can also be treated successfully with consultation and treatment.5
  • Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease; severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults.6


  1. American Academy of Periodontology. Patient Resources, What Is Periodontal Disease website. Accessed on May 20, 2020.
  2. American Dental Association. Mouth Healthy, Gum Disease website. Accessed on May 22, 2020.
  3. Nowjack-Raymer RE, Sheiham A. Association of edentulism and diet and nutrition in US adults. J Dent Res. 2003;82:123–126.
  4. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Periodontal (Gum) Disease website. Accessed on May 24, 2020.
  5. Kornman KS. Contemporary approaches for identifying individual risk for periodontitis. Periodontology 2000.2018;78:12–29.
  6. Eke P, Thornton-Evans G, Wei L, Borgnakke W, Dye B, Genco R. Periodontitis in US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2014. JADA. 2018;149(7):576-586.