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Steep Increase of Gum Disease in Young Adult


The gum disease is a slowly progressing disease that occurs among mostly adult patients as they are aged. However the prevalence of gum disease increases in Young Adult, lately. The gum disease starts with inflammation of gum but it can affects the systemic health such as diabetes, high blood pressure or preterm baby for pregnant woman.

According to “Global epidemiology of dental caries and severe periodontitis-comprehensive review” published on March 6, 2017 by Jo E.Frencken in Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the prevalence of severe periodontitis increased with age, with a steep increase between the 30th to 40th. The prevalence is reaching peak at the age of 40 and remaining stable thereafter. There was a peak in incidence at age 38. These patterns did not change between 1990 and 2010.

Eating healthy foods with rich fibers can help getting better oral health. However, the diet with high sugar and processed foods can affect our oral health negatively. Especially, sleeping without brushing and flossing can increase the chance of getting gum disease and caries dramatically due to decreased flow of saliva in our mouth. The saliva is one of the main built in cleansing system in our mouth.


The gingivitis is the early form of gum disease which is germ origin disease within our mouth. If the disease is confined within the gum tissue (soft tissue), we classify them as gingivitis. If the disease progresses into the bone around the teeth, it’s called periodontitis.

The gingivitis is relatively reversible because it’s disease of soft tissue. However once the disease is advanced as periodontitis, the damage of the bone is irreversible. We can stop them from getting worse but it’s very challenging to gain the bone back. If the periodontitis is further advanced, the teeth starts to get loose then it can lead to tooth loss.

The gum disease can affect our systemic health negatively. The blood vessels around the tooth is called gingival crevicular fluid. The bacteria of gum disease can dive into the systemic blood vessel like driving into the highway of our body. It can increase the death of heart disease by double and death of diabetic retinopathy by 8.5 times.

It’s critical to visit dental office regularly for check up and cleaning. The brushing and flossing more than 2 times a day, especially before sleeping is important. Using a waterpik along with the brushing and flossing can be beneficial.

Youngmo Kang,DDS

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