Do We Read the Signs of Gum Disease? [Survey Stats Infographic]
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common dental problems worldwide. It includes a set of inflammatory conditions of the structures around the teeth. They may affect the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone, depending on the stage of the condition. When left untreated, it may lead to irreversible consequences such as tooth loss.
Despite the severe implications, previous research reveals that it is amongst the most prevalent and nevertheless ignored inflammatory conditions. In the United States, 42% of adults over 30 years have periodontitis, with 7.8% having the severe condition (Eke, et al., 2018). In Europe, the European Federation of Periodontology warns that gum diseases are the most common conditions to afflict European populations, yet are among the least acknowledged.
Considering these warning signals, we aimed to investigate deeper whether people pay attention to the symptoms of gum disease in DentaVox recent Survey on Gum Disease.
The results indicate that there is a mismatch between how people evaluate the danger of developing periodontal disease and the symptoms they experienced. Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that they are in low or very low risk of periodontal disease. Yet 44% of them admit they have experienced one or more of its symptoms such as bleeding gums while brushing or flossing.
Look at the infographic below to find out what are the most common symptoms reported and how they differ among respondents with different self-evaluated risk of gum disease.
Signs of gum disease are often underestimated
44% of respondents with low and very low self-evaluated risk of gum disease admitted that they experienced at least one of the symptoms of the condition. This suggests that bleeding gums and other alarming symptoms are underestimated as warning signs. In comparison, 49% of people who perceive the risk to develop the condition as moderate, report related symptoms. The results resonate with the warnings of the European Federation of Periodontology that periodontal diseases are highly overlooked and calls for more awareness amongst patients.
Bleeding gums – the most common symptom
Bleeding gums while brushing is the most common symptom, reported by survey respondents from all groups. 23.4% of people with self-assessed low and very low risk have seen blood in the sink during brushing in the past 12 months. Yet their perception on the likelihood to develop gum disease, shows a disregard for this warning sign of the disease.
Is a loose tooth the most alarming sign?
The results reveal that loose teeth are noticed by 19.4% of people who believe that they are in high or very high risk of gum disease. As their share is much lower in the other groups, this raises the question if people really wait for such a severe state to consider the condition seriously.
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