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Periodontal Disease, continued
Risk factors for the development of periodontal disease in adolescents include:
 
Poor oral hygiene
 
Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums.
Gingivitis
 
Nutritional deficiencies (eg, vitamin C)
 
Infectious diseases (eg, HIV)
 
Medications (eg, Dilantin)
 
Metabolic and neoplastic diseases (eg, diabetes, leukemia)
 
Tobacco use (significantly increases risk)
 
Pregnancy and hormonal contraceptives
 
Oral trauma
 
Gingival recession as the result of abrasions from oral piercings

Prevention and Treatment
 
Reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene, both brushing and flossing.
 
Encourage healthy eating and screen for eating disorders.
 
Discourage all forms of tobacco use.
 
Discuss the risks of oral piercings.
 
Maintain vigilance regarding the oral health of adolescents who are pregnant or who have HIV/AIDS, diabetes, neoplastic disease, or special health care needs.
 
Incorporate an evaluation of teeth and gums into every routine physical examination.
 
Refer patients with abnormalities to a dental professional and continue to monitor them closely.
 
 
Periodontal disease is very common among adolescents.
 
Periodontitis is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.
 
Pubertal hormonal changes, hormonal contraceptives, and pregnancy all increase the risk of developing periodontitis.
 
Tobacco use significantly increases the risk for development of periodontal disease.
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