Even though tooth loss has declined since the 1970s, adults between the ages of 20 and 64 still only have an average of approximately 25 teeth and seniors over 65 have an average of 20.
Experts suggest several factors can place you at risk of tooth loss including age, gender, and certain medical conditions. Knowing what you can control may enable you to hang onto your teeth a little longer.
Good Oral Hygiene Helps Prevent Tooth Loss
Taking good care of your teeth and gums may seem like a no-brainer. However, statistics suggest that less than 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men brush their teeth daily.
In case you aren’t sure of the steps involved in good oral hygiene, your dental professional recommends that you:
- Choose a fluoride toothpaste
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, two minutes each time
- Floss at least once a day
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly, dry it, and store it upright after brushing
- See your dental hygienist for regular checkups
Taking care of your teeth and gums in order to ward off periodontal disease is the best way to prevent tooth loss.
What You Eat May Affect Tooth Loss
Although eating a special diet won’t guarantee problem-free dental health, having well-balanced, nutritionally sound eating habits is important to good medical and dental health. Specifically, your dental professional suggests you:
- Meet your daily requirements of vitamins A, C, and D as well as calcium
- Keep yourself hydrated and your mouth healthy by drinking plenty of water
- Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic foods
- Include high-fiber foods in your diet
- Avoid consuming hard substances such as popcorn kernels and ice
Keep your teeth and gums healthy by eating healthy and you’re less likely to face tooth loss.
General Health Affects Dental Health and Tooth Loss
Periodontal disease may be a major reason for tooth loss. However, other health factors can put your teeth at risk as well. Here are a few health issues you need to keep in check if you want to limit the chances of losing your teeth.
- Diabetes. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association “8.3% of Americans suffering from diabetes are also at greater risk for tooth loss—especially those over age 50.”
- Smoking. Smokers have twice the chance of getting gum disease as nonsmokers, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
- Osteoporosis. Experts suggest that people with low bone density tend to lose more teeth.
- Medications. Side effects, such as dry mouth and thrush, caused by prescription as well as over-the-counter medications can lead to gum infections, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
All it takes is the right understanding of the cause of tooth loss and its prevention. If you have any questions about oral health care, tooth loss, or dental implants, be sure to speak with your dental professional.