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What You Need to Know About Gum Disease in Your 20s

Young woman pointing at healthy gums.

While you are enjoying life and independence in your 20s, gum disease may be the furthest thing from your mind. However,  you might be surprised to learn that gum disease does not necessarily discriminate by age.

That's right, even in young adulthood, you may be at risk for gum disease. And knowing the signs can be the difference between easy early treatment and long-term oral health consequences.

Gum Disease Basics

Gum disease is an exceptionally common condition that affects the gums as well as other supporting structures of the teeth. It can start quietly, often without pain or severe symptoms, making early gum disease easy to ignore. Many people brush these issues off with little thought, hoping they will go away on their own.

Without intervention, however, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, where the stakes are higher. While gingivitis tends to be easily reversed, periodontitis can lead to permanent damage. More advanced gum disease can result in gum recession, bone degradation, and, eventually, tooth loss in severe cases.

Understanding what gum disease is and recognizing its early signs are critical steps in prevention and management. Symptoms of early gum disease include:

Young Adults at Risk: Why?

Just like cavities, gum disease can happen at any age. Research suggests that while severe periodontitis is more common in older adults, young adults are not immune. Cases of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, are increasingly detected in people in their 20s.

Lifestyle choices in your 20s can inadvertently put you at risk. Poor oral hygiene, smoking or vaping, dietary choices, alcohol consumption, and even stress can contribute to the onset of gum disease.

Treatment and Prevention

The good news is that with early detection, gum disease is preventable and treatable.

Treatment options range from improving oral hygiene and professional deep cleaning to more advanced interventions for severe cases. However, when it comes to gum disease, preventive measures are the best defense, as they can significantly reduce your risk.

Setting Yourself Up for Healthy Gums for Life

Taking care of your gums is just as important as any other aspect of your health. And now is the best time to establish habits that promote lifelong oral health.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, don't wait to book your next dental appointment.

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