Many of us don’t give our teeth a second thought. We’re too busy just getting through the daily grind. Our oral health doesn’t really play a factor until…OW! Your tooth starts to ache. Studies show that one in three adults over the age of 65 suffers from tooth loss. As with most health issues, prevention is the best way to avoid tooth loss. Teeth are definitely not something you should take for granted. In this article, we aim to give you some information regarding some risk factors and reasons why many of us are losing teeth.
Why Do We Lose Our Teeth?
The number one reason most of us suffer a loss of permanent teeth is gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a condition where the tissue that holds our teeth into place becomes infected. Periodontal disease is easily recognized by dental professionals because of symptoms such as gum inflammation, bleeding or receding gums. Humans carry a lot of bacteria in their mouths, and over time that bacteria mixes with other particles and creates what’s known as plaque. Plaque attaches to a tooth but gets washed away when you brush and floss your teeth. However, when plaque is left on the teeth long enough, it creates tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional. This is why it is so important to practice good oral health care at home and get routine dental care. Otherwise, you run the risk of tooth decay, which can lead to tooth loss.
Tooth loss is also prevalent among adults who use tobacco products. According to the CDC, those that smoke have twice the risk of developing gum disease than nonsmokers. Also, treatments that are available to treat periodontal disease may not work as effectively for those that smoke. Other risk factors that increase your risk of tooth loss include diabetes, medications that cause dry mouth, injury or trauma, hormonal changes and age.
How Can You Prevent Tooth Loss?
The first line of defence against teeth loss is a good oral health regimen. Many tooth loss issues can be avoided with proper brushing and flossing techniques that start in your own bathroom. Most tooth decay among adults can be attributed to a lack of daily care. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing once per day, every single day. Brushing and flossing disrupt the bacteria that settle on your teeth and stop it from hardening into plaque and tartar. Next, be sure to visit your dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and an oral exam. Routine dental care is the best way for your dentist to track your risk factors for gum disease and keep your oral health in tip-top shape. Don’t be worried about going to the dentist, even if you haven’t been in a long time. There are ways to treat advanced disease by a deep cleaning underneath the gum line and using topical medications. Working with your dental professional to fix any tooth problems allows you to develop better habits moving forward, thereby preventing further tooth loss.
What Happens if I Lose a Tooth?
Sometimes there are factors beyond your control that result in the loss of a tooth. Tooth loss is something a lot of adults are afraid of. There’s a stigma attached to tooth loss that can make people feel ashamed or embarrassed. But losing teeth isn’t the end of the world! If you do suffer the loss of a tooth, call your dental health professional immediately. Losing even one tooth is enough to affect the way you eat and speak. It can lead to fundamental changes in the mouth and lead to issues with your other permanent teeth such as misalignment and premature wear. Your dental specialist can guide you in your options for replacing the tooth with an implant. This is usually your best option, as it helps keep your bite aligned properly, avoiding additional tooth loss in the future.
Take Care of Your Mouth to Avoid Tooth Loss
Avoiding tooth loss is one more advantage you get by paying attention to your oral health. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily goes a long way to warding off dental disease and other oral issues. Any teeth lost can sometimes lead to a chain reaction of other serious dental health issues. Visit your dental health expert for twice-yearly cleanings and you’ll be able to keep gum disease at bay. Remember, oral health is the gateway to overall health, so give your teeth some love every day and chances are you won’t have to worry about tooth loss.