Why Older Adults Have an Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Looking after your teeth and gums becomes even more important as you age. Older adults are at a higher risk of contracting a number of common dental problems, namely gum disease. If you think you may be eligible to periodontal disease treatment and are an older adult, it is essential that you seek out dental assistance as soon as you can.

What is periodontal disease?

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the surface of the teeth and gums and can result in bleeding, painful gums, bad breath, and, in worse cases, tooth loosening and falling out. It is likely you are in need of periodontal disease treatment if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    • Sore, swollen, bleeding gums
    • Bad breath
    • Pain when eating
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold
    • Receding gums
    • Bad taste in your mouth
    • Loose teeth

Why Older Adults Have an Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Why does my risk of getting periodontal disease increase with age?

As with many medical disorders, the risk of gum disease increases with age. It is thought that about 70% of adults aged 65 and older have the condition, and with evidence linking gum disease to heart problems, this is a worrying statistic.

Gum disease in older adults is usually caused by a gradual build-up of bacteria in the mouth, which can result from neglect to oral health, poor diet, and age-related enamel weakening. It is possible to prevent gum disease as you get older by paying particular care and attention to the health of your gums and teeth.

How do I know if I have periodontal disease?

You may be unable to detect signs of periodontal disease in its early stages, which is why it is crucial to pay regular visits to your dentist so you can be certain you are maintaining good oral health. It is only when periodontal disease advances you may start to notice things aren’t right.

Your dentist can effectively detect symptoms of the disorder, so if you have any reason to be concerned your first step should be to book an appointment for a check-up as soon as possible.

Why Older Adults Have an Increased Risk of Gum Disease

As an older adult, how can I prevent periodontal disease?

The easiest way to prevent the onset of periodontal disease is to maintain a consistent cleanliness routine, including brushing your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day.

Regular checkups are also essential to maintaining good oral health as an older adult. Your dentist can detect early symptoms of gum disease, and the hygienist can professionally clean your teeth. You should aim to visit your dentist at least once every six months to ensure everything is as it should be.  

If you have been diagnosed with the disorder, seek periodontal disease treatment in Michigan immediately. The earlier it can be treated, the easier it will be to manage your symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.

Our team at Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry can create a treatment plan to improve your oral health and alleviate your specific dental problems, restoring your smile and your confidence.

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Emily Harrison’s passion for the medical field began when she started visiting the chiropractor regularly as a child and wanted to know more about how it helped her back. Since then, she has researched and written extensively about different areas of medicine such as chiropractic care, obstetrics, anesthesiology, and dentistry. When she is not writing or researching, she enjoys baking and crossword puzzles.