If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day, from this point forward.

How do I know if Ihave gum disease?
Symptoms of gum disease include:
•  Bad breath that won’t go away
•  Red or swollen gums
•  Tender or bleeding gums
•  Painful chewing
•  Loose teeth
•  Sensitive teeth
•  Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Risk Factors
  Smoking.  Need another reason to quit smoking?  Smoking is one of the most significant risk factorsassociated with the development of gum disease.  Additionally, smoking can lower the chances forsuccessful treatment.
•  Hormonal changes in girls/women. These changes can make gums more sensitive andmake it easier for gingivitis to develop.
•  Diabetes.  People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease. 
•  Other illnessesand their treatments . Diseases such as AIDS and its treatments can negatively affect the health of gums, as can treatments for cancer. 
•  Medications. There are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerableto infections such as gum disease. And some medicinescan cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; thiscan make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
•  Genetic susceptibility.  Some people are moreprone to severe gum disease than others