Research indicates that you can practice healthy habits each day to lower your risk of tooth loss. Experts listed the risk factors for tooth loss in the Journal of Periodontology. Individuals who are:
- over the age of 35
- not receiving regular professional dental care
- not brushing their teeth
- smoking or have smoked in the past
- suffering from diabetes
- dealing with high blood pressure
- struggling with rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers also found that the front teeth were more likely to be lost to periodontal disease than the teeth positioned at the back of the mouth. While some factors such as gender and age can’t be changed, others, such as choosing to stop smoking and brushing your teeth regularly, can significantly reduce your risk of tooth loss.
What Are the Main Reasons for Tooth Loss?
The leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Men are significantly more likely to have a tooth removed than women and tooth loss is most common among people age 35 and older. Nearly 30% of people who lose teeth are current or former smokers. Researchers note that more information is needed concerning the connection between a patient’s smoking history and habits. Individuals who are smokers should work with their physicians to come up with a smoking cessation plan. Using medically proven strategies to stop smoking can increase the chances that smokers can kick the habit for good.
The Results of Improper Dental Care
Around 40% of patients stated that they had never received professional dental care, and only 13% stated that they received dental care in six months before having a tooth removed. An astounding 60% of individuals said they only occasionally or never brushed their teeth. Of the individuals surveyed, only 16% said they brush their teeth at least twice a day.
Going to the dentist is often a fearful experience for many people. Some people avoid going to the dentist because they don’t want to undergo procedures that involve drills or pulling teeth. While these things do happen in dental offices, the chances of having a tooth pulled or tending to a cavity are lower for individuals who visit the dentist regularly. Teeth cleaning and checkups every six months to a year allow the dentist to thoroughly evaluate the patient’s teeth and gums and prescribe necessary treatments for ongoing oral health.
General Health and Tooth Loss
Some patients had other health issues that led to tooth loss. About one in five individuals had type 2 diabetes. Researchers note that the connection between diabetes and tooth loss is “well established.” More than 10% of the patients surveyed had high blood pressure. Researchers asserts that a 2004 study reported a connection between periodontal disease and high blood pressure in women who had already gone through menopause.
Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are both conditions that can be properly managed by making lifestyle changes. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, consuming whole grains and reducing or eliminating processed foods, and staying away from extremely sugary or salty foods can reduce the risk of complications. Women who are post-menopausal should include calcium supplements in their diets and consume healthy forms of protein (i.e. fatty fish, raw nuts) to decrease the chances of high blood pressure and gum disease.
Tips for Preventing Tooth Loss
These days, it is quite possible for both people to keep their natural teeth for the rest of their lives. Here are some dental care tips that will keep your teeth healthy and strong:
-Use toothpaste and drink water that contains fluoride
-Brush and floss at least twice a day to reduce plaque buildup and the risk of gingivitis
-Don’t use tobacco in any form to lower the risk of periodontal disease, throat and oral cancer, and candidiasis
-Limit alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancer (the risk of cancer is high for people who both drink and smoke)
-Eat a balanced diet that includes five servings of vegetables and fruits daily; avoid foods that are high in starch and sugar
-Visit the dentist often for checkups to detect early signs of oral health issues and receive treatments that will preserve the health of the teeth and gums
It is also important to note that patients with diabetes should work to control the disease. Gum disease is often a sign of diabetic complications. Certain medications can also produce dry mouth, so patients should ask their doctors if there are alternatives for medicines that cause this symptom. If there is no substitute, individuals are advised to chew sugarless gum, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
Individuals should also have an oral health checkup before starting any cancer treatments. Radiation and chemotherapy, especially in the neck and head areas, can cause issues with the gums and teeth. It is important to discuss all possible treatment options with a physician before making a decision.
If you’ve already lost teeth, you do have some options for restoring your smile. If you live in or near Miami, you may want to consider all-on-4 dental implants in Miami FL. This procedure involves supporting all of your teeth on four implants that are surgically implanted into your mouth. It’s important to consult with your dentist to determine if implants are right for you. Your dentist will also give you tips for caring for your implants after your dental surgery to keep your smile healthy and appealing. After consulting with your dentist and looking at a few before-and-after pictures, you’ll get an accurate idea of how this dental treatment will improve your smile and give you the confidence you’ve always wanted.