The older the age, the higher the risk of getting periodontal disease?

Health & Fitness

  • Author Shirley Tu
  • Published June 8, 2019
  • Word count 441

The early signs of periodontal disease are easily ignored, and the treatment requires the co-work of the doctor and the patient, otherwise it may recur. But is it true that the older a person is, the easier it is for him/her to get periodontal disease? Let’s find out the answer below.

Periodontal disease sounds scary to a lot of people, especially to those mid-aged or aged people who lost their teeth due to the said disease, and had to replace them with dental implants. Then is periodontal disease associated with age? Why does the saying go that the older the age, the higher the risk of getting periodontal disease? Is it true?

Explanation: the chance of getting periodontal disease is associated with age to some extent.

The older the age, the longer the teeth have been used for. On this basis, if the oral hygiene is not well-managed for a long time, bacteria will easily collect in the mouth, and gradually develop into plaque and tartar. Eventually, the buildup of tartar will irritate the tissues surrounding the teeth, leading to red swollen gums, gum recession and tooth loose, etc. Therefore, it is true, to a certain extent, that the older the age, especially over 30, the greater the chance of getting periodontal disease.

However, age is not the only one risk factor for periodontal disease.

The main cause of periodontal disease is the poor oral hygiene, or the lack of awareness of dental care. People who do not brush their teeth carefully or receive dental cleaning regularly have higher risk of periodontal disease. Some old patients aged 60/70 who never go for tooth cleaning have such an idea after losing their teeth that it is normal to lose teeth in old age. However, while compared with the WHO’s 8020 goals which suggests 80-year-old people can have 20+ natural teeth, such idea is totally a misconception.

Besides, systemic diseases in the elderly also matter. For example, diabetes, a common geriatric disease, can increase the risk of periodontal disease. Moreover, longtime elderly smokers with tobacco stained teeth are more susceptible to periodontal disease.

At present, the disease has been seen in younger adults more and more frequently. As a result, a large number of post-90s adults have had to get dental implants. Adults who always stay up late for work or have irregular schedules is also the high risk group of periodontal disease. So here comes the reminder, the effective way to prevent periodontal disease is to go visit the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning and dental checkup, in addition to brushing teeth carefully twice per day, in the morning and at night.

I'm a dentist of a Shenzhen-based dental hospital. Feel free to view more dental related knowledge on my website:

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