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Can I develop periodontitis as an adult?

Most cases of periodontitis occur in adults. For the most part, children and teenagers -- if they suffer from any gum disease -- will have gingivitis, a disease that can progress to be periodontitis. Periodontitis is especially prevalent in people over the age of forty.
Carol Jahn
Dentist

Yes, periodontitis is primarily an adult disease generally diagnosed in middle life. Teens and young adults who develop periodontal disease are generally considered to have an early on-set case. The number one risk factor for the development of periodontal disease is smoking. More than half of all cases of periodontal disease occur in current smokers. Other risk factors include having diabetes, especially in those who have a hard time controlling their blood sugar, and family history. 

Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is most common in adults after the age of 30. The disease can cause chronic inflammation around the teeth, leading to gums that pull away from the teeth. Gingivitis, a milder form of the disease that causes sore gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, can show up in teenagers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.