Unless you’re a hockey player, chances are that you don’t expect to lose any teeth at any point throughout your life. But tooth loss is common, especially for adults over the age of 35. In fact, according to research from the Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, in an adult mouth with 32 teeth, the average 35- to 49-year-old only has about 25 remaining teeth. The average 50- to 64-year-old only has about 22.3 remaining teeth.
It’s worth noting that the 32 tooth number also includes four wisdom teeth – which many people have removed during the late teenage years – but the research detailed above is still indicative of tooth loss as people age.
So just what can you do to prevent tooth loss? It’s a combination of practicing good oral habits and eating and living right. Here’s a closer look:
Here’s a look at nine risk factors that could increase the likelihood of tooth loss:
- Being older than 35 years old.
- Being a man.
- Minimal professional dental care.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Being a smoker.
- Having diabetes.
- Having high blood pressure.
- Having rheumatoid arthritis.
Preventing tooth loss with good oral hygiene
As noted, one of the risk factors that leads to tooth loss is not receiving professional dental care and not taking good care of your teeth. In terms of the former, it’s important to visit your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. Not only will a teeth cleaning remove any plaque, tartar and excess food that you’ve missed from brushing or flossing, but regular visits to the dentist can also help detect and correct small issues before they escalate.
Taking good care of your teeth on a daily basis is also important to preventing tooth loss. For example, dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once per day. Doing so prevents plaque from building up – and if plaque is left within the mouth, it can lead to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Simply making some small adjustments to how you care for your teeth can go a long way toward preventing tooth loss.
Preventing tooth loss by living right
You can also prevent tooth loss by eating right and living right. For instance, sugar is a big contributor to tooth decay, so dentists recommend that you eat high-sugar foods like candy, gum and other sweets in moderation. Smoking and chewing tobacco is also known to weaken the gums and contribute to tooth loss over time. Not only does eating right and living a healthy lifestyle help contribute to a healthy mouth and healthy teeth, but it can also help fend off medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which have also been linked to a greater likelihood of tooth loss.
Your teeth are important to your overall appearance and your overall health. Losing teeth doesn’t just make you look unhealthy, but it can also greatly decrease a person’s self-esteem and make them feel more self-conscious about their physical appearance. Tooth loss can also be the sign of a much more serious medical issue. Yes, your teeth are important – so make sure that you’re taking good care of them. For more information on the importance of healthy teeth, and to learn more about preventing tooth loss, contact Caven Dental today.