05 Jul 2018
Even with today’s advances in dental technology and a higher number of people receiving professional dental care than ever before, tooth loss remains a surprisingly common issue. Though rates of tooth loss have declined in recent years, this problem is far from eliminated. Yet there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of tooth loss. As you come to understand the top factors that contribute to tooth loss and take action to improve your oral health habits, you will be able to maintain a healthy smile throughout your life.
The following are some of the top contributors of adult tooth loss that you should be aware of.
With all the other ways that smoking can harm your health, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it can also affect your smile. Smoking is a leading contributor to gum disease, in part because it weakens your body’s immune system. This notably puts your gums at higher risk for infection, while also making it more difficult for them to achieve a full recovery from such issues.
The risk for gum disease and tooth loss isn’t limited to smoking — it has been linked with all forms of tobacco use. The longer you smoke and the more you smoke each day, the more likely you are to experience tooth loss. Keeping your smile is just one more reason to quit smoking.
Not Brushing & flossing
The oft-repeated advice to brush and floss twice a day isn’t just for kids. It is equally important for adults. Brushing and flossing play a direct role in fighting gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities — three of the conditions that commonly result in tooth loss.
Brushing and flossing remove plaque and food particles from your mouth, preventing the bacteria buildup that so often contributes to a variety of oral health problems.
Avoiding Dental Visits
Visiting the dentist can be scary — many adults still have memories of frightening experiences when they were children that keep them from receiving professional dental care as adults. However, even if you brush and floss regularly, regular dental visits should still be a central part of your oral health routine.
Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup that you may not have been able to eliminate with your own brushing and flossing efforts. Even more importantly, these routine checkups give your dentist a chance to inspect your mouth for cavities or signs of gum disease.
Identifying such issues and providing appropriate treatment in a timely manner will go a long way in preventing tooth loss. On the other hand, letting these problems get out of hand simply because you don’t want to visit the dentist increases the likelihood that your next visit will result in an extraction.
Caring for your teeth requires more than brushing and flossing — you also need to be mindful of your entire body’s well-being. Type II diabetes has been directly linked with periodontal disease because it limits your body’s ability to control glucose levels. This greatly increases the risk of gum disease, inflammation, and even the erosion of the jaw bone — all of which makes you more likely to lose your teeth.
Those who experience diabetes should be extra mindful of making oral health best practices a consistent part of their daily routine, as well as maintaining normal glucose levels. Those at risk of developing type II diabetes should consult with a doctor to determine how they can avoid the onset of this condition.
Keep Your Smile
It’s much easier to take care of your teeth than to go through dental implant surgery or get a full set of dentures. As you take action to address these and other risk factors for adult tooth loss, you’ll be able to keep your smile looking great for years to come.