While work on immune responses in the oral cavity and studies of periodontitis have demonstrated changes with aging, it is not clear which of these features are truly driven by aging processes. Moreover, virtually all of these studies have focused on chronological aging. However, recent innovative approaches in other disciplines have begun to explore the concept of "biological aging" as a better descriptor for risk of age-associated diseases. Inflamm-aging has been defined as aging combined with "chronic, sterile, low-grade inflammation" while immunosenescence is the "progressive modification of the immune system that leads to greater susceptibility to infections, neoplasia and autoimmunity". Studies of inflamm-aging and immunosenescence as measures of immune system flexibility related to periodontitis are still not robustly documented. (1, 2)
1. Ebersole JL, Graves CL, Gonzalez OA, Dawson D, Morford LA, Huja PE, Hartsfield JK, Huja SS, Pandruvada S, Wallet SM. 2016. Aging, inflammation, immunity and periodontal disease. Periodontology 2000. 72(1):54-75.
2. Fulop T, Larbi A, Dupuis G, Le Page A, Frost EH, Cohen AA, Witkowski JM, Franceschi C. 2018. Immunosenescence and inflamm-aging as two sides of the same coin: Friends or foes? Frontiers in immunology. 8:1960-19