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Management of periodontitis in old age

Posted on 5/23/2022 by Dr McMurray
Management of periodontitis in old ageAging changes the functioning of all body cells, organs, and tissues, including the gums and teeth. As we age, cells renew at a slower pace and rate, tissues thin and become elastic, and bones become weak and less dense. The immune system also weakens, paving the way for infections that affect oral health and general health. These conditions are usually followed by taking medications that can hurt dental health.

Periodontitis at old age

The slowdown of cell and organ function also affects the ability of the periodontal tissues to regenerate and be turgid. When the gum tissue loose elasticity, they pull away from the tooth, exposing the roots or base of the tooth. This makes it easier for pockets to form and deepen and accumulate bacteria that could eat away the jawbone and tooth root. A lifetime of bad habits like smoking, brushing too hard, and lousy dieting could worsen the condition in old age. Dry mouth, a common condition in old age, also causes gum disease. A weakened immune system makes the progression of the infection faster. Treatment is also lengthy.

How to protect the gums in old age

It is important to note that proper dental care helps keep teeth and gums clean and healthy no matter what age one is. Flossing once a day and brushing at least twice with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste helps keep oral health in check. It is important to avoid sugary foods and beverages, which encourage bacteria growth. It is essential to avoid smoking and visit the dentist regularly to help keep gum disease at bay. One should also seek advice on medication that causes dry mouth or other alternatives that help keep the mouth moist, for example, artificial saliva. Periodontal therapy sessions for older adults are also advised as general dental care may not be enough to prevent periodontitis.
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