Assessing Your Risk of Periodontal Disease

Assessing Your Risk of Periodontal Disease

This article, part 1 of 2, provides a questionnaire to aid in the identification of people who are at a higher risk of developing gum disease.

doctor with patient going over x-raysPeriodontal dentistry is the dental field dedicated to the elimination of disease-causing bacteria in the oral cavity, with special emphasis upon the health of the soft tissues surrounding the teeth; the gums. Gum disease is a pervasive problem in the United States in spite of all our advanced technology and sophisticated array of medical treatments. With studies constantly revealing the intimate relationships between this terrible oral affliction and life-threatening diseases – including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes – now more than ever it is fundamental that we understand what puts our oral and general health at risk. Periodontic dentistry in general makes use of a few indicators in the determining of a patient’s risk of gum disease.  In this blog, part 1 of 2, we provide a questionnaire detailing some of these factors. Refer to part 2 to find out if you are a high risk candida

Take The Quiz

  1. How old are you?

–          Less than 40 years old: 0 points

–          Less than 60 years old: 1 point

–          More than 60 years old: 2 points

According to research released, age plays an important role in determining the risk for the development of gum disease. People in their late adulthood are especially vulnerable.

  1. Do your gums frequently bleed when you brush, floss or eat certain foods?

–          Yes: 1 point

–          No: 0 points

While bleeding gums can be caused by brushing too hard, they may also indicate the presence of a chronic and acute bacterial infection of the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. If you have tried brushing softly and they continue to bleed, then you should seek the attention of a practicing professional in the field of periodontic dentistry.

  1. Do you smoke or chew tobacco?

–          Yes: 2 points

–          No: 0 points

Tobacco use is a leading cause of gum disease and can markedly increase your risk factor, even if you brush and floss regularly.

  1. Do your teeth feel loose?

–          Yes: 2 point

–          No: 0 points

Gum disease migrates deep down into the gingival sulci (or tooth sockets) and destroys the fibers, ligaments and supporting bone tissue that hold your teeth in place. Loose teeth are a good indicator of an unchecked bacterial infection that has become acute and requires prompt treatment.

  1. Are your gums constantly inflamed and swollen or have they receded from your teeth making them look longer?

–          Yes: 2 points

–          No: 0 points

Swollen or receding gums are another important indicator of periodontal disease and should not be ignored. While there are other oral conditions that can lead to either of these, it is important that you seek immediate attention from a specialist in periodontic dentistry to be certain.

To determine your risk of gum disease, answer the remaining five questions in our next blog…