A study by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research found that approximately 50% of adults in the United States have gingivitis. (1), (2)
Older adults should take the following into consideration to help prevent gingivitis:
- Nutrition: Poor nutrition can contribute to gum problems, and many older individuals may have trouble eating a healthy diet due to missing teeth or painful teeth.
- Dexterity: Older adults may have difficulty brushing or flossing their teeth. If your oral care routine has become difficult, talk to a dental professional about products to make at-home oral care easier and more comfortable.
- Medication Use: Many types of medications can promote dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum problems. Saliva is necessary to help wash away bacteria that can build up on the teeth.
- Menopause: Both men and women are susceptible to gum problems with age, but unlike men, women may develop a condition called menopausal gingivostomatitis. Warning signs of this condition include abnormally dry or shiny-looking gums that bleed easily and might appear deep red or unusually pale. (1), (2)