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What increases my risk for chronic periodontitis?

Risk factors for chronic periodontitis include age, gender, environment, behavior, and existence of other systemic conditions. More specifically, risk factors for chronic periodontitis include the following:

  • inadequate tooth care;
  • consumption of sugary and acidic foods;
  • adulthood, with risk increasing with age;
  • pregnancy hormones;
  • long-term intimacy with somebody who has the condition;
  • certain diseases and medications;
  • use of nicotine and smoking;
  • poor nutrition.
Your risk for chronic periodontitis increases if you develop gingivitis, a mild form of  gum disease. You may be more likely to develop gingivitis if you:
  • are pregnant or take birth control pills
  • are a teenager
  • have diabetes and don't control your blood sugar
  • take certain medications, including steroids and some blood pressure medications
  • smoke
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of this gum disease. Periodontitis occurs when the gums pull apart from the teeth and form pockets. Bacteria can invade these pockets and damage the gums, resulting in tooth loss.

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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.