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Periodontal disease risk factors studied

Are you at risk for losing your teeth as you age? A new study has identified nine risk factors associated with periodontal disease — one of the most common causes of tooth loss.

Risk indicators identified through the study include:

  • age (being over 35);
  • gender (men are affected more than women);
  • past or current smoking;
  • not seeing a dentist for regular cleanings or periodontal maintenance;
  • not brushing or brushing infrequently;
  • having diabetes mellitus;
  • having hypertension;
  • having rheumatoid arthritis;
  • and losing anterior teeth.

Researchers examined tooth extractions performed in 21 general dental clinics in Kuwait, examining 1,775 patients and 3,694 extracted teeth. Scientists recorded patients’ health histories, including information on age, gender, medical history, dental maintenance history, tooth brushing frequency, types and numbers of extracted teeth and reason for extraction.

Other conditions and factors that were studied but not found to be significant included cardiovascular disease, stroke, asthma, renal problems, hepatic problems and osteoporosis.

The study was published in the November 2005 issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

For more information on periodontal disease, log on to the American Dental Association Web site at

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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