Gum Disease More Common With Old Age

Old Age and Gum DiseaseCurated News:

By Timberlake Dental curated from

Image Courtesy of  Flickr – Shirley Shelton

“A recent study which appeared in Nature Immunology shows that the deterioration in gum health which occurs with increasing age is associated with a drop in the level of a chemical…”

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It is somewhat expected that gum disease gets worse as patients get older.  More specifically known as periodontis, this disease of the gums causes bleeding, blood loss, and, over time the loss of teeth.  What’s interesting and promising about this article is that it identifies a specific enzyme called Del-1, which restrains the immune system by preventing white blood cells from sticking to and attacking mouth tissue.  New research is indicating that, as gum disease increases with old age (of laboratory mice), this Del-1 enzyme decreases.  There is some promise, therefore, that finding out a way to keep the Del-1 level up may reduce the prevalence of gum disease with older patients.  Of course this awaits more work by researchers.

Dr. Rodney D. Chowning, Sedation and General Dentistry, Denton, TX