Saturday, July 13, 2024

Aging Beautifully; Health of Teeth, Jaw, and Oral Tissues



Keeping the oral and surrounding tissues healthy becomes increasingly important as we age. Impairment of the health and continuity of these areas not only negatively affects our facial aesthetics, but also causes damage to the body, aging of tissues and organs, inability to function, and disruption of the continuity of our mental health. Systemic diseases that occur in older ages cause oral diseases to be given less importance, and issues such as infected teeth and deterioration of the integrity of the jawbones, which pave the way for these systemic diseases, are overlooked. Infections of teeth, surrounding tissues, and jawbone cause organ and tissue damage, causing a continuous chronic infection throughout the body, and can pave the way for premature birth, heart and rheumatism diseases, dementia, and Alzheimer’s diseases. In addition, recent studies emphasize that the loss of chewing function due to the loss of molars may lead to degenerative diseases of some neurons in the brain. Apart from infection, loss of chewing function (especially the back teeth) also causes loss of cognitive abilities and is associated with dementia.

Diseased, nonfunctional, or lost teeth cause melting in the jaw bones, which provide volumetric support to the facial appearance, and collapse due to decreased support in the muscles that provide facial aesthetics. This causes the person to look older.

Most of the muscles responsible for our facial aesthetics and appearance are attached to the upper and lower jaw. It is the facial muscles, which have an undeniable place in the facial appearance, and the teeth and surrounding tissues that most affect the jaw bones to which they attach. Just as the ability of the jawbones to maintain their volume depends on the teeth, the teeth also provide physical support to the muscles in the lips and surrounding area. The area around the lips, which is the most aesthetically treated area, needs to be physically supported, especially with healthy teeth.

To have a healthy lifestyle, preventive medicine should be introduced at an early age. One should go to the dentist for 6-month check-ups, and it should not be forgotten that missing teeth can disrupt the status of the entire mouth cause major problems aesthetically, and is a necessity for our mental health.

The problems described above can be easily prevented by taking advantage of preventive oral and dental health services early, going for 6-month checkups at later ages, replacing the missing teeth, and restoring jaw functions.

Wishing you a beautiful age, both spiritually and physically…

Prof. Dr. Hulya Kocak Berberoglu

Istanbul University, Faculty of Dentistry

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery



1-Chang AK, Kim BK, Kim AY. The impact of aromatherapy-based oral care on oral conditions, salivary pH, and halitosis in older adults with dementia: Pilot study. Geriatr Nurs. 2023 Sep-Oct;53:109-115. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2023.07.010. Epub 2023 Aug PMID: 37536001.

2-Ikegami K, Yamashita M, Suzuki M, Nakamura T, Hashimoto K, Kitagaki J, Yanagita M, Kitamura M, Murakami S. Cellular senescence with SASP in periodontal ligament cells triggers inflammation in aging periodontal tissue. Aging (Albany NY). 2023 Mar 1;15(5):1279-1305. doi: 10.18632/aging.204569. Epub 2023 Mar 1. PMID: 36863315; PMCID: PMC10042704.

3-Asher S, Suominen AL, Stephen R, Ngandu T, Koskinen S, Solomon A. Association of tooth location, occlusal support and chewing ability with cognitive decline and incident dementia. J Clin Periodontol. 2024 Mar 11. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.13970. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38468379.

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