Kennett Family Periodontics RSS Feed Kennett Family Periodontics News

Senior Health
Friday, October 1, 2010

Senior Health


The wise old owl gives a hoot about his teeth


Most seniors have become smarter about their oral hygiene and are more likely to keep their teeth throughout their lifetime than they were a decade ago.

          The Centers for Disease Control reports about 70 percent of adults 65 years old and older have their natural teeth.  However, oral health is often an overlooked component of many senior’s general health and well-being.

          Studies indicate that seniors have the highest rates of periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection that can damage the gums and bone supporting the teeth.  But don’t think gum disease is an automatic condition of aging.  Research suggests these higher rates may be related to risk factors other than age.

          Periodontal diseases may be aggravated by medical conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis.  Memory problems and depression, which often leads to less attention to oral hygiene, and arthritis, which can make brushing more difficult, may also contribute to the disease.

          Most importantly, recent research has found that periodontal diseases are linked to a number of major health conditions such as heart and respiratory diseases, diabetes, and stroke (some of the major illnesses among senior citizens).

          What does this all mean?  As you get older, it’s more important than ever to seek regular dental care.  Routine oral hygiene will decrease your risk for periodontal disease, which in turn, allows you to keep your natural teeth a lifetime as well as possibly lower your risk of a heart attack.

          So give a hoot about your teeth, and discuss your oral health with your dentist or periodontist today.


Oral Hygiene Tips for the Young at Heart


Even if you’ve managed to avoid periodontal disease until now, it is especially important to practice a meticulous oral care routine as you get older.

          Follow these tips to help ensure your teeth will last a lifetime.

          Brush and Floss at least two times a day.  Removing plaque from your teeth and gums every day can help prevent periodontal disease.

          Clean removable partial dentures daily and remove them at night to avoid bacterial growth.

          Visit your dentist or periodontist at least twice a year to remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss cannot reach.  These visits also provide the opportunity for early detection of periodontal disease and pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions.

          Notify your dentist or periodontist of sudden changes in taste and smell.  These should not be considered signs of aging and could be causes of serious medical problems.

          Limit alcohol intake. Extreme alcohol consumption is a risk factor for oral and throat cancers.

          Avoid or limit tobacco use. In addition to the general health posed by tobacco use, smokers have seven times the risk of developing gum disease compared to non-smokers.

          Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth against dental decay.

          Eat a balanced diet. Some seniors prefer soft, easily chewed food, which can take a toll on nutrition.

          For more information, visit



Dental insurance plans can be confusing even for someone who deals with them every day. Read more to learn about how your dental insurance plan can help you with your dental treatment....

The sooner you take aim at your tobacco use and quit, the closer you will be to healthy teeth and gums!

New studies are showing that periodontal disease is much more of a public health concern than we all thought.

Don't think gum disease is an automatic condition of aging. Read more to see how the young at heart can maintain oral health.

Maintaining a health weight is important to your overall health. Studies are showing this includes your periodontal health as well.