Most of the leading causes of death in the U.S. are ones you hear about all the time: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Ones that aren’t so lethal are a lot less familiar. While deadly diseases certainly deserve the attention they get, there are plenty of other diseases out there that affect a lot more people than you realize. And just because they’re less likely to claim your life doesn’t mean they’re a walk in the park. Ready to learn more? Check out these seven surprisingly common diseases.
1. Periodontal disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, affects 47.2% of people who are age 30 or older. You can recognize it in its early stage by red, swollen, or bleeding gums, otherwise known as gingivitis. Other warning signs include pain when chewing from sensitive or loose teeth, and bad breath that won’t go away. Eventually, the plaque buildup can harden into tartar, and the disease can continue to spread below the gum line. Risk increases with age, so you’ll want to be sure you’re getting regular teeth cleanings to prevent developing gum disease.