When it comes to the elderly population and vision issues age-related macular degeneration is the major cause of irreversible vision loss. There is no exact explanation of how age-related macular degeneration occurs and what causes it. It is speculated in the medical community that it could be caused by age-related changes and oxidative stress that results in cellular damage. When cellular damage occurs it is then aggravated by immune and inflammatory responses. If the inflammatory response is chronic this can lead to other eye issues such as retinal atrophy and angiogenesis.

What Is Periodontal Disease 

Periodontal disease is very common for individuals who are 30 years and older. Approximately 47.2 percent of Americans over 30 years and older have periodontal disease. This is an inflammatory and infection is condition and then increases the immune response and results in chronic inflammation. the older an individual gets the worst periodontal disease gets. There are two common forms of periodontal disease and they are gingivitis and periodontitis.  Gingivitis is a reversible form of periodontal disease. Periodontitis is the irreversible and more advanced form of periodontal disease.

The Association Between Periodontal Disease And Advanced Macular Degeneration 

There was a recent study done in Finland that was a cross-sectional and included 1,751 individuals. The study showed that periodontal disease made male individuals more susceptible to developing advanced macular degeneration. There was a second study done which was also cross-sectional in the United States and the study was called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This study was done on close to six thousand individuals but it included graded retinal photographs and periodontal data. The results from this study were very similar to the results of the Finland study. The only difference was that the survey did not pinpoint one particular sex who was more susceptible. A doctor by the name of Wagley studied the results carefully from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Wagley concluded that individuals who were 60 and under had an increased risk of developing advanced macular degeneration disease if they had periodontal disease regardless of sex. The study also showed that there was no relationship between the two when it came to individuals who were older than 60.

When it comes to the subject of if periodontal disease gives individuals an increased chance of developing advanced macular degenerative disease studies have shown that this is a strong possibility of being true. The Finland study stated that this would only happen in males and does not affect females. The study that was done in the United States was in agreeance with the Finland study in the area periodontal disease giving individuals an increased chance of developing the advanced macular degenerative disease. The difference between the two studies was that the United States’ study stated that their information found that all individuals who were 60 and under equally had the chance of experiencing this regardless of sex. So it is obvious that maybe more testing and studies have to be done to truly see if this affects the males only or if it affects both sexes equally.