Publication Date

Spring 4-2019


School of Health Sciences


Biology: Biomedical Sciences


Periodontitis, oral health, geriatrics, dentistry, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, COPD, osteoporosis


Dental Public Health and Education | Dentistry | Geriatrics | Medicine and Health Sciences | Oral Biology and Oral Pathology | Periodontics and Periodontology


Periodontitis affects millions of Americans each year, and is especially prevalent among the elderly. Since periodontitis is a chronic, progressive condition, uninterrupted disease progression leads to irreversible oral damage; therefore, periodontitis often reduces the oral health-related quality of life. Furthermore, research strongly suggests a correlation between periodontitis and other systemic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus), highlighting the importance of understanding, treating, and preventing periodontitis. This thesis explores the pathology and etiology of periodontitis, with special focus given to the prevalence and impact of the disease in the elderly population. Additionally, the connection between periodontitis and other systemic diseases common to the elderly will be explored. Finally, treatment and prevention strategies for periodontitis in the elderly will be considered.