Optimal Gum Health for Seniors
For seniors, gum health must be a top priority. Your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases as you age. Periodontal disease is both preventable and, in many cases, reversible. Left untreated, it can lead to more severe complications such as bloody or swollen gums and tooth loss. Even more alarming are the numerous studies connecting periodontal disease to other serious illnesses. Here’s what you need to know about gum health as you age.
Periodontal Disease and Your Overall Health
Periodontal disease has been linked to severe health issues. A recent study by the University of Southampton and King’s College London uncovered a link between periodontal disease and increased cognitive decline in those with early Alzheimer’s. In patients with periodontal disease, the study found cognitive decline underwent a rapid change, occurring six times as fast on average.
Periodontal disease has also been found to increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Risk factors for these serious issues increase with age, among other causes, and it is essential to limit potential risk factors where possible. This can be as easy as improving your gum health with a visit to Timothy Roney & Associates.
The Numbers You Need to Know
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, moderate or severe periodontal disease was found in over 10% of seniors aged 65 to 74. The number increases to more than 20% for those over 75 years old. Men were found to be more likely than women to have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Smoking was also found to have a significant impact. The same study showed 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% of those who never smoked.
Steps You Can Take
As you age, keeping up with your gum health is essential. Doing so is a vital link in lowering your risk factors for other serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. You can keep your gums healthy by brushing twice daily for two minutes. Be sure to floss your teeth as well regularly. Flossing is an effective way to clean the hard-to-reach cracks and gaps where plaque builds up. Schedule a visit with our Shelby Charter Township dentist for a complete gum evaluation. We can work with you to devise a course of action to ensure healthy gums.