National surveys show that a large number of adults suffer from some form of gum disease (most are unaware of the problem). If not treated, gum disease can ultimately make extraction necessary, but with good oral hygiene, gum disease can be prevented. If you smoke, give it up for dental reasons too because there is a well-established link between smoking, smokeless tobacco, gum disease and increased tooth loss. Several other factors can contribute to gum disease such as an unbalanced diet, pregnancy, certain medications, and diseases.

View the ADA briefing on gum disease — http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease

View the ADA briefing on tobacco — http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/smoking-and-tobacco