How old are you?
Your chances of developing periodontal disease increase considerably as you get older. Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease and need to do more to maintain good oral health.
Are you female or male?
Studies suggest these are genetic differences between men and women that affect the risk of developing gum disease. While women trend to take better care of their oral health than men do, women's oral health is not markedly better than men's. This is because hormonal fluctuations throughout a women's life can affect many tissues, including the gums.
Do your gums ever bleed?
Bleeding gums can be one of the signs of gum disease. Think of gum tissue as the skin on your hand. If your hands bled every time you washed them, you would know something was wrong. However, if you are a smoker, your gums may not bleed, even if you have gum disease.
Are your teeth loose?
Periodontal disease is a serious inflammatory disease that is caused by a bacterial infection that leads to the destruction of the ligaments and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. When (neglected) teeth can become loose and fall out.
Have your gums receded, or do your teeth look longer?
One of the warning signs of gum disease is when the gums are receding from the teeth, causing the teeth to look younger than before.
Do you smoke or use tobacco products?
Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. Smokers are much likely than non-smokers to have calculus form on their teeth, have deeper pockets between the teeth and gums, and loose more of the bone and tissue that support the teeth.
Have you seen a dentist recently?
Daily brushing and flossing will help keep calculus formation to a minimum, but it won't completely prevent it. A professional dental cleaning by the hygienist at least twice a year is necessary to remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.
How often do you floss?
Studies demonstrate that flossing routinely can actually help reduce the amount of gum disease-causing bacteria found in the mouth, therefore contributing to healthy teeth and gums. Interdental brushes are also useful.
Do you currently have any of the following health conditions?
I.e. Heart disease, osteoporosis, osteopenia, stress or diabetes.
On-going research suggests that the periodontal disease may be linked to these conditions amongst others. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body. Healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.
Have you ever been told that you have gum problems, gum infection or gum inflammation?
Over the past decade, research has focused on the role of chronic inflammation may play in various diseases, including periodontal or gum disease. Data suggests having a history of periodontal disease makes you six times more likely to have future periodontal problems. Periodontal disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease.
Have you had any adult teeth extracted due to gum disease?
The more recent your loss of a tooth due to gum disease, the greater the risk of losing more teeth from the disease. Wisdom teeth, teeth removed for orthodontic therapy or because of fracture or trauma may not contribute to increased risk for periodontal disease.
Have any of your family members had gum disease?
Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member. Also, research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.