Sunday September 12th is grandparents’ day. For some of us we are lucky enough to have our grandparents around to celebrate. For some, grandparents are genetically related and for others it may be someone who stepped into the role when you were young. Regardless of how they became your grandparents we can all agree they are meant to be celebrated. Often times grandparents are the ones who are willing to do anything for you, make you feel special, and will go out of their way to celebrate you. They do this while still living their own life and often dealing with their own health, wellness, and day to day chores.
You may be wondering why a dental office is posting a blog about grandparents’ day but we see a wide variety of patients daily. Things we see in our grandparent population that most may not think about is periodontal disease, often referred to as perio. This is the chronic disease that infects the bone, tissue, and ligaments surrounding a tooth. Since perio is a chronic condition, we see the greatest loss in the elderly population. While it is a concerning disease for systemic and oral health it is manageable and even preventable. The more preventive care you seek at a younger age, the better chance you have to manage disease in its early stages.
What we know about perio:
- It is manageable
- It is genetic
- It is caused by bacteria in our mouth
- It affects systemic health like blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many others
- It is an inflammatory disease
- It is exacerbated by poor homecare and lack of dental care
- Host (i.e., person) response can vary – epigenetics
- There is no cure
If you are worried about your dental health, or a grandparent’s, there is no time like the present to seek dental care. Periodontal disease does not have to be a disease that causes systemic or oral health issues, but it does require the attention and management of your dental care providers.