Losing teeth is a common occurrence, especially as we get older. In fact, by the time people reach age 65, the average adult has lost most of their teeth! There are many reasons why this happens, but the good news is that there are things people can do to prevent tooth loss and keep their mouths healthy. Here are five of the most common reasons seniors lose their teeth.
Poor Dental Hygiene
One of the most common reasons for tooth loss is poor dental hygiene. When we don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque and bacteria build up on our teeth and gums, leading to gum disease. Gum disease is a severe condition that can damage the soft tissue and bone around our teeth, eventually causing them to fall out.
Certain illnesses can also cause tooth loss. For example, people with diabetes are more likely to experience gum disease, leading to tooth loss. Seniors are also more susceptible to infections like pneumonia and sepsis, which can have damaging effects on oral health.
Another common reason seniors lose their teeth is certain medications they may take. For example, some medications can cause dry mouth, which leads to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. In addition, seniors who take medications for high blood pressure or depression may also be at risk for tooth loss.
Smoking is another major contributor to tooth loss. Smokers are twice as likely to experience periodontal disease compared to non-smokers—periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults over 35. In addition, smoking stains teeth and increases the risk of developing oral cancer in older adults
Finally, diet plays a role in oral health—and a poor diet can lead to tooth loss. For example, acidic beverages like soda can erode tooth enamel over time, increasing the risk of cavities and decay. A diet lacking essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin C can also weaken bones and gums, making them more susceptible to damage.
Tooth loss is a common problem among seniors, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some ways you can deal with tooth loss today.
Teeth Replacement Services
One of the most direct ways to deal with tooth loss is to seek teeth replacement services. These services often use tooth implants to replace teeth you might have lost. These implants are made of titanium and are surgically placed in your jawbone—once they’ve healed, a dental prosthetic is attached to the implant, giving you a natural-looking tooth.
There are various benefits to getting implants when compared to other options. Dentures can be a hassle, falling out and requiring constant readjusting and maintenance. On the other hand, implants are permanent, look natural, and don’t require as much care. They are also less likely to get infected.
Improved Oral Health
If you want a more preventive measure in dealing with tooth loss, you can try to improve your oral health. Here are some ways you can improve your oral health.
Brush Twice a Day
Brushing is a crucial part of maintaining good oral health. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and if possible, after every meal. Be sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that contains fluoride. However, you mustn’t brush more than three times a day, as this can damage your tooth enamel.
In addition to brushing, you should also floss your teeth every day. This helps remove plaque and bacteria between your teeth and gums, preventing gum disease.
Oil pulling is an ancient oral health practice involving swishing oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. This helps remove toxins from your mouth and improve your oral health. Coconut oil is a good option for oil pulling, as it has antimicrobial properties that can help reduce plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
Smoking is a significant contributor to tooth loss, so it’s essential to avoid it if you want to maintain good oral health. If you can’t quit smoking altogether, try limiting the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. If you’re going to quit smoking, then consider these options:
- E-cigarettes: E-cigarettes are a smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes. They work by heating a nicotine solution, which creates an aerosable vapor. As a result, E-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but they’re not entirely risk-free.
- Nicotine patch: This patch is an adhesive patch you place on your skin. It releases nicotine into your body, helping to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Nicotine gum: This gum is chewed like regular gum but releases nicotine into your body. This can help control cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
These are just some ways to deal with tooth loss as a senior. Remember, it’s never too late to improve your oral health! If you have any questions or concerns, speak with your dentist.