Gum health should be a top priority for seniors. Your risk of developing periodontal disease (gum disease) increases as you age. By taking charge of your gum heath, you won’t have to worry because periodontal disease is both preventable and in many cases, reversible.
Ending up with bloody or swollen gums, or even losing teeth is a possibility if periodontal disease remains unchecked. In fact, there are multiple studies that connect periodontal disease to other, more serious illnesses.
Gum Disease and Your Overall Health
A recent joint study conducted by the University of Southampton and King’s College in London discovered a link between periodontal disease and an increase in the rate of cognitive decline in those suffering from early Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that patients with periodontal disease experienced decline six times faster than in patients who had healthy gums.
Your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke is also heightened if you have periodontal disease. With age, the risk factors for these serious issues increase and it is crucial
to limit the potential risks as much as possible. An easy way to take responsibility for your gum health would be to visit our dentist for regular checkups.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Moderate or severe periodontal disease was found in over 14% of seniors ages 65-74, and more than 20% for those ages 75 and older according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
It was found that more men than women were diagnosed with the disease, and smoking had a significant impact. According to the same study, 32% of current smokers had the disease, compared to just 14% who didn’t smoke at all.
Steps to Take
In order to avoid periodontal disease you must floss regularly, which is an easy and effective way to get into the gaps of your teeth where plaque and food particles build up. Also, make sure to brush your teeth for a full two minutes, twice a day.
As you age, it is more important than ever to keep up with your gum health. By doing so you will lower your risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease which have all been linked to periodontal disease.