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Age and oral health: current considerations

Edad y salud oral: consideraciones actuales

Dental plaque is still considered the main etiological factor for periodontal diseases. Our understanding of periodontal disease has advanced from the previous concepts where gingivitis slowly progressed to periodontitis to a more complex scenario that correlates several risk factors in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. Among these factors, age has been associated with increased rates of periodontal disease as the population gets older. Although the loss of alveolar bone and periodontal attachment is common in the elderly population, and there is evident age-related changes in the periodontium, severe periodontitis is not a natural consequence of ageing. The importance of identifying the risk factors that participate in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease at an early phase, both of the individual and the disease, as well as evaluating the capacity of the individual to control dental plaque will enable the implementation of an adequate preventive program, where the needs and limitations of the individual are considered to specifically tailor the oral hygiene procedures and the mouthwashes to be used.

Age groups; Risk factors; Patient compliance; Periodontal diseases; Antiseptics

Sociedade Brasileira de Pesquisa Odontológica - SBPqO Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2227, 05508-000 São Paulo SP - Brazil, Tel. (55 11) 3044-2393/(55 11) 9-7557-1244 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil