Aging and Tooth Loss: Is It Inevitable?

Aging and Tooth LossAccording to a survey conducted by the Canadian Dental Association, nearly half of all seniors are under the mistaken impression that as we age, we will inevitably lose our teeth. But tooth loss is far from inevitable.  Losing baby teeth is completely normal, but losing adult teeth is not.  While time and age can cause a decline in oral health, it is not age itself that causes tooth loss and other problems.  Read on to learn more about aging and tooth loss.  

Causes of Tooth Loss

Periodontal Disease

The number one cause of tooth loss is not aging, but rather periodontal disease, which slowly wears down the supporting tissues in the mouth, often leading to tooth loss. Periodontal disease becomes more likely as you age, both because plaque and tartar accumulate over time, and because oral hygiene may become more difficult as time goes on. If you don’t yet suffer from serious periodontal disease, you may only need a few tricks to make daily brushing easier, such as using an electric toothbrush. if you do suffer from periodontal disease, then regular treatment and maintenance at the Silberg Center for Dental Science is essential.  

Missing Your Appointments

Patients in need of gum disease treatment and periodontal maintenance are often encouraged to visit our office four times a year, depending on your exact circumstances. This may sound like a lot–after all, most people visit their dentists twice a year! But once periodontal disease has set in, frequent care is necessary to keep the disease from progressing. Regular dental care has a profound effect on your likelihood of keeping your teeth. As an added bonus, if anything unusual happens to your teeth, such as sudden pain or injury, then you already know exactly where to come. If you experience any tooth damage or pain, come to our office as soon as possible to take care of the problem.

Poor Nutrition

You have probably heard the importance of good nutrition emphasized over and over, but did you know that in addition to all the other associated health problems, not getting the proper vitamins and minerals can cause tooth loss?  A diet lacking calcium can increase your risk of tooth loss, and if you consume too much sugar, acid, or carbohydrate-rich food, you may be unknowingly damaging your teeth and gums.

Unhealthy Habits

Statistics show that those who smoke are twice as likely to experience tooth loss as those who do not.  This is because smoking increases your risk of tooth loss.  Other bad habits that can cause tooth loss are: drinking alcohol, bruxism (tooth grinding), opening bottles with your mouth, or chewing ice or hard candy.  

Preventing Tooth Loss

The best thing that you can do to ensure that you have a healthy smile for years to come is to brush your teeth twice per day, floss daily, and visit the Silberg Center for Dental Science as often as Dr. silberg recommends in your case. If you haven’t yet scheduled your next dental checkup, contact us today.

Posted in Gum Disease

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