A recent study shows that severe periodontitis (commonly known as gum disease) is the sixth most prevalent health condition in the world
This study was the first global assessment of periodontal diseases and shows how prevalent this preventable condition is becoming. The likelihood of gum disease appears to peak in the third and fourth decades of life, around 38 years of age.
Gingivitis is an inflammation or infection of the gums. If treatment does not occur then the condition can spread from the gums to the ligaments and bones which support the teeth which will eventually lead to tooth loss, mainly in adults.
As an interesting comparison, another study, from the UK shows that modern Britons have less healthy gums than in Roman times even though they rarely brushed their teeth during that era. Scientists believe that this was because they did not smoke and diabetes was rare as these two factors are high on the list of health factors which can inflame gums.
Self care and regular cleaning and check-ups are very important. Brushing and flossing help to reduce plaque but only dental implements can remove tartar (hardened plaque).