Can Adults Prevent Tooth Loss As They Age?

Causes And Recommendations

Many are of the opinion that losing some or all your teeth is part of the aging process, hence, inevitable. While baby teeth are shed, as they are replaced later, it is a physiologic occurrence. Losing adult teeth is not. The daily stresses you put on your teeth can cause them to wear but they are still designed to last a lifetime. It is certain habits and conditions, mostly preventable, that can contribute to the loss.

Gum disease, specifically periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In its advanced stage, it eventually destroys the gums, the ligaments and the bone that are supporting the teeth. Eventually it leads to the loss of the teeth involved. Poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition contribute to the development of gum disease.

Cavities or dental caries can also lead to loss of teeth. Very common across all age groups, it was reported that 92% of persons between the ages of 20 to 64 years old have on average 3 cavities in their mouth. Untreated caries can damage a tooth down to its pulp, spread to neighboring teeth, and harm the gums. Poor oral hygiene, sugary diet, and some genetic factors can cause cavities.

Injury or trauma to the teeth can lead to their loss. Accidents like falls, vehicular mishaps, sports injuries, fights, and other forms of trauma that injure the mouth may lead to the loss of teeth. Another form of injury that can be detrimental to your teeth are ill-fitting, loose, or old dental appliances, like bridges, that need to be replaced. Unattended cracks, chipped, and broken areas on teeth due to injury can leave them exposed to bacterial attacks that may lead to loss of teeth.

Certain health issues can exacerbate tooth loss. Examples of these conditions are osteoporosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Described as thinning of the bones, usually in old age, osteoporosis involves the bones of the wrists, hips, spines, including that of the jaw. Diabetes is well studied to link with gum disease as high blood sugar can disrupt the normal blood flow to gum tissue. Cardiovascular disease also has links to periodontal disease.

The key is to adopt early prevention techniques to keep at bay the development of gum disease, dental caries. A mouth guard or a sports guard may significantly prevent trauma or injury to the teeth during sports and in instances of teeth grinding. Healthy habits such as cessation of smoking, moderation of alcohol, and avoidance of overly sweet, starchy, and acidic foods and drinks. Proper oral hygiene, a balanced and nutritious diet, not to mention regular dental visits, can ensure you keep your teeth or most of them for the greater part of a lifetime.


Bellevue Dentistry And The Oral Health of Older Adults

Your Bellevue dentists are particularly conscientious towards the oral health of the aging community. Make your appointment sooner with us to ensure healthy, long-lasting teeth.