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Periodontal (gum) disease

21. Diseases of the periodontal tissues and supporting structures of the teeth affect a large proportion of the population and become more common with increasing age. The most recent national adult dental health survey found that 54% of adults aged over 16 had moderate signs of periodontal disease in one or more teeth (pocket depth > 3.5mm). More severe periodontal disease (pocket depth > 5.5mm) was found in 5% of the population, the majority of whom were aged over 65 years.

22 Periodontal disease can lead to a loss of the supporting structures holding the teeth in position. This 'loss of attachment' becomes more prevalent in older people. The prevalence and severity of periodontal disease is greater in smokers.

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