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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, July 11, 2016

2% of African American Children Have This Rare Disease


While 2 percent may not seem like a large amount, this rare gum disease affects about 70,000 African American children in the U.S. According to a study by Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, the disease can cause tooth disfiguring, tooth loss, and difficulty eating.

Not all age agroups affected

The disease is called “localized aggressive periodontitis,” and it affects African-American adolescents between the ages of 11 to 17. It is a rare form of gum disease that has a high rate of occurrence among black children. It represents yet another health issue that disproportionately affects African Americans.

Can be very serious

Periodontitis is not to be taken lightly. It is a serious gum infection that can damage the gums and even destroy the jawbone. Even worse, as the condition reaches advanced stages, it can create a risk for heart and lung diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Although periodontitis occurs mostly -- about 65 percent -- among people living below the poverty level, all parents should be aware of this rare gum disease and make sure their children have regular checkups at the dentist and are brushing their teeth regularly.

For more details about the study, visit
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