Periodontal diseases other wise know as gum disease is an infection of the supporting structures of the teeth. When not treated, periodontal diseases can result in the loss of teeth. The occurrence of periodontal diseases increases with age, from six percent among persons 25-34 years and to 41 percent among those 65 years and older.
This increase is not necessarily due to older persons being more susceptible to periodontal diseases, but rather to the consequences of these diseases, which accumulate over time and are thus more evident in the elderly.
Preventing periodontal diseases is particularly relevant because recent studies have shown a possible association between these diseases and diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which are major causes of death among the elderly population.