Maintaining our health becomes more challenging as we grow older. This is especially true when it comes to protecting our oral health.
The team of Portland family dentists at Burlingame Dental Arts knows firsthand the challenges senior patients face with their oral health. Tooth loss caused by gum disease is common among patients over the age of 50, a condition that leaves 22 permanent teeth remaining on average (adults typically have 28 teeth, not including wisdom teeth). In fact, 10 percent of all adults in the U.S. over the age 50 have no remaining permanent teeth, according the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Tooth loss in seniors is the result of a variety of conditions, ranging from gum disease to osteoporosis. While both of these conditions can seriously impact a patient’s oral health, researchers suspected that osteoporosis could contribute to the development of gum disease and tooth loss, especially among postmenopausal women.
However, a new study now suggests that postmenopausal osteoporosis is not linked with an increased risk of gum disease, but it does, however, significantly contribute to tooth loss. This suggests a need for better preventive dental care in patients suffering from postmenopausal osteoporosis.
The results of the study were recently published in The Journal of Periodontology, where its conclusions were drawn from an observational study of 76 postmenopausal patients. The women underwent dental exams and had saliva samples taken for an examination of its microbiological evaluation. The women were also asked to give a history of osteoporosis. Researchers used process to detect the oral bacteria associated with periodontal disease, a severe form of gum disease.
Roughly 77 percent of the study participants with osteoporosis were detected as having periodontal disease.
This type of dramatic number helps to illustrate the need for senior patients to receive regular oral care, especially among postmenopausal women.
Portland Family Dental Care
To protect your oral health later in life, you need to schedule regular cleanings and checkups with our staff of Portland family dentists at Burlingame Dental Arts. Regular exams provide our dentists with the opportunity to spot the signs of gum disease early on before it can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
Your oral health plays an important role in help you maintain your overall health. Take charge by receiving the kind of quality dental care you need to prevent gum disease and tooth loss.