How Does Periodontal Disease Affect You?
People are now living longer and healthier lives, and older adults are more likely than ever before to keep their teeth for a lifetime. However, research has shown that older people also have the highest rates of periodontal disease. In fact, at least half of people over age 55 have some form of periodontal disease, and almost one out of four people over 65 have lost all their teeth.
Men already have a lot to worry about when it comes to health; they face shorter life spans, greater risk of heart attacks, and higher rates of cancer than women. One more thing can be added to that list: research shows that periodontal disease is more prevalent in men than women, and men lose more teeth on average than women!
The changes that women experience throughout life lead to unique health care needs. Since periodontal health is connected to your overall health, as your health care needs change throughout your life- during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause- your oral care needs may change, too. Hormonal fluctuations during these times may affect your gum tissue and the underlying bone that supports your teeth. These changes may increase your susceptibility to periodontal disease and require you to take special care of your oral health.
There used to be an old wives' tale that said a tooth is lost for every child. While it may seem far-fetched, it may actually be based loosely on fact. Your teeth and gums can be affected by pregnancy, just like other areas of your body.
Periodontal disease and its associated complications affect both men and women, so it's important that both sexes are doing everything they can to maintain their periodontal health.
Periodontal disease is often thought of as a consequence of aging, or an adult problem. But, did you know that gingivitis, a mild form of periodontitis, is often found in both children and adolescents? Additionally, research shows that more advanced, harmful forms of the disease can occur in younger age groups. The good news is that a little education and a few easy steps go a long way toward preventing periodontal disease.