When you think about getting older, you probably think of the impact the aging process will have on your smile. You might think dentures and tooth loss are inevitable, but only about 10% of adults ages 50-64 end up losing their entire set of natural teeth. What can you do to avoid being part of this 10%? In this post, learn what causes people to lose their teeth from Lake Oconee Dentistry, your preventive dentist in Greensboro – and what you can do about it.
What Causes Tooth Loss In Adults?
As your experienced and trusted dentist in Greensboro, Dr. David Bradley, Dr. Patti Bradley, and Dr. Shelly Pound teach their patients that the top reasons for tooth loss in adults include:
- Poor Oral Hygiene – Skimping on brushing and flossing are surefire ways to end up with missing teeth. This happens because oral bacteria thrives on food particles and sugars that linger in your mouth, and they end up damaging the bones and periodontal ligament that keeps your teeth in place.
- Gum Disease – Although half of adults deal with this common dental malady, it’s commonality shouldn’t make it something to be taken lightly. Think of your teeth as trees and your gum as the soil – no matter how pretty the foliage is, if the ground is unhealthy, the arbors (or in this case, your pearly whites) will fall.
- Irregular Dental Care – Seeing your dentist twice a year is crucial to prevent oral health issues before they get out of hand. When it comes to your smile (and tooth loss), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – or in this case, dentures or dental implants.
- Smoking – If you use tobacco products in any form, this drastically increases your risk for tooth loss, as well as oral cancer.
- Poor Nutrition – Your teeth’s relationship with food is two-fold: first, what they come in contact with through chewing impacts them, so sugars, refined carbohydrates, and acidic foods can impact them negatively; secondly, since your teeth are bones, they need minerals like calcium and magnesium to ensure they remain in your mouth for as long as possible.
- Grinding (Bruxism) – If you grind your teeth, this puts excessive pressure on them and causes loss of vital bone tissue that holds them in place. As the natural structure is worn away, your dentitions become free-moving and eventually fall out.
- Failure To Replace Missing Teeth – Gaps in your smile due to missing dentitions cause your remaining teeth to shift and fill in the empty spaces which can put them at risk for traumatic injury and loss.
- Crooked Teeth – Straight teeth are healthy teeth – they’re easier to clean which prevents cavities and gum disease. Since rotated and crowded pearly whites are prone to plaque and tartar buildup, this can lead to complications, including tooth loss.
- Diabetes – This condition impacts many aspects of your overall well-being, including your immune system. And, when the immune system is compromised, it increases the presence of plaque on your teeth as well as gum disease, both of which lead to tooth loss.
What Can I Do To Prevent Tooth Loss?
Follows these tips to keep your teeth healthy and bright:
- Brush your teeth gently for two minutes, twice a day.
- Floss at least once daily.
- See your dentist every six months.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and limit sugar.
- Quit smoking and using tobacco in any form.
To prevent tooth loss and ensure a full, radiant smile of your natural teeth, schedule an appointment for routine dental care with Lake Oconee Dentistry today!