Re: Gum disease/cancer
No, losing teeth is not normal with aging; it's normal for people who do not take care of their teeth and get regular checkups.
As for the links to oral cancer, I was just into these sites myself this last month because I was diagnosed with mild lichen planus. Oh my, it's not something I would recommend as I found soooo many references to oral cancer that our two-week vacation had me completely consumed with the thought that I was going to die. In fact, the periodontist I went to see for it while on vacation wouldn't even give me the names of what else it could be because he didn't want me going back on the internet and getting myself all worked up over it. The interent is a goldmine for finding answers to just about everything you want to know, but it can also cause a fair amount of stress. Oral cancer is linked to many mouth and gum disorders, but if you read up on it, it's only a slightly higher risk. The risk comes into play for people with advanced gum disease because of the bacteria and the lack of treatment they receive for it. Anytime you have an infection in your mouth that isn't getting better, the changes that are occuring within that infection can progress to somethig more serious if not treated. It isn't saying that everyone who has gum disease (which is 50% of the population at any given time) is going to get cancer. It's simply saying that because there's an infection with bacteria already present, it's prone to changes if left to advance. The best thing you can do is get your teeth cleaned, even 3 or 4 times a year if need be, and take as good of care of them as you can. Nobody loses their teeth simply because they're old; they lose them because of lack of care.
Last edited by kellie2; 02-06-2004 at 11:32 AM.