By: CPMC Genetic Counseling Staff
Reviewed by: Danielle Jesensky, DMD, Danielle Jesensky Family Dentistry and G. Edward Rankin, DMD, George E. Rankin DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an infection of the gums that destroys the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In its early stage, known as gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and prone to bleeding. In severe cases, teeth may become loose or may even fall out. Having periodontitis can also increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Periodontitis is most often diagnosed in adulthood.

How Common is Periodontitis?
About 13.5% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have periodontitis, of which about 5% have a severe form of the disease. Periodontitis is more common among men, older adults, Hispanic and Black individuals and current smokers. Individuals with less education and those with lower incomes are also more likely to have periodontitis1.

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Learn more about Periodontitis, from symptoms to understanding your risk, through the links below.

Page References

1. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Periodontal Disease in Adults (Age 20 to 64). N.p., 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2012.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Learn more about Periodontitis [ Learn More › ]

Risk Factors

Both genetic and non-genetic factors play a role in Periodontitis [ Learn More › ]

Reduce Your Risk

Risk-reducing behaviors for Periodontitis [ Learn More › ]

The CPMC Study

Learn how the CPMC Study identifies your risk for Periodontitis [ Learn More › ]