The risk of periodontitis increases with age

Elderly people are in better shape now than ever in health terms. They are at greater risk of chronic diseases, increased use of medication and multimorbidity, however. This is also effecting dental health.

Elderly woman is being examined by a doctor

Increased health awareness and better dental care means that people now keep their natural teeth for much longer than before. But this in turn provides favorable conditions for the development of periodontal diseases, as a pathological bacterial flora can become established over the years and continuously drive forward the destruction of the periodontal apparatus. In addition, age-related physiological changes in the mucosa and the decline of the immune system further boost this process.

Medicines influence oral health

The systemic diseases that affect people increasingly as they age, and the medicines they have to take as a result, also play an important role. Antihypertensive agents, antipsychotic medicines, antiparkinson drugs or diuretics can all have an impact on oral health, increasing susceptibility to dry mouth, for example. This in turn increases the risk of periodontal diseases.

Regular recall visits

The diminishing ability of the periodontium to regenerate also contributes to an increase in periodontal diseases that require treatment in older people. The situation is often exacerbated by worsening fine motor skills, which results in people no longer being able to perform adequate oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups are therefore extremely important in the elderly in particular.

Consider interdependencies

As both systemic and periodontal diseases occur more frequently in old age, these mutual interdependencies should be taken into account in treatment. Because certain systemic diseases can have a negative influence on periodontitis. Conversely, a periodontal disease, as a chronic bacterial infection, can have a negative impact on general health.