A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop periodontal disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing periodontal disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your dentist or doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Taking certain medicines can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, such as:
Your risk of developing periodontal disease increases as you age:
Women are more likely than men to develop periodontitis, probably because of hormonal changes that women experience throughout their life cycle.
There seems to be a genetic tendency for certain people to develop periodontitis.
African Americans and people of Hispanic origin have a higher rate of periodontitis than do Caucasian Americans.
Other factors that may increase your risk of periodontitis include:
American Academy of Periodontology. Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm . Updated June 2010. Accessed July 25, 2010.
American Dental Association. Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/ . Updated March 2005. Accessed July 25, 2010.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease/ . Updated March 2010. Accessed July 25, 2010.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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