Everyone wants to keep their beautiful smile for as long as possible.
However, there is a common misconception that tooth loss in adults is inevitable. Losing milk teeth or baby teeth is normal, but it shouldn’t happen to your permanent teeth.
You’re probably wondering why tooth loss is widespread in the older population. Even if it is, this shouldn’t be a normal occurrence. Find out what causes tooth loss in older people, what you can do to protect your teeth, and more! Century Dental is here for you.
Elderly Tooth Loss: What You Should Know
Over the years, the look and function of teeth can change; however, age and time are not the only ones to blame for tooth loss in adults. Knowing the changes that take place will help you take preventative measures.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having fewer teeth affects a person’s ability to eat vegetables, fruits, and meat. This will hurt your attempt to have a healthy diet. The CDC report also includes the following numbers:
- 26% of adults aged 65 or older have eight or fewer teeth.
- Around 17% of the older population aged 65 have no remaining teeth.
- There’s a 30% decrease in total tooth loss for people aged 65 and older between 1999-2004 and 2011-2016.
Dental Changes That Occurs as You Age
Several changes happen to your teeth with time. Knowing why elderly tooth loss happens will help you prepare for anything that may harm your teeth. Here are some of the changes you should know about:
1. Regular Wear and Tear
Over the years, your teeth will endure a lot of wear and tear. Years of bad dental habits and problems like bruxism and chewing wear down the appearance of your teeth.
2. Teeth Discoloration
The food and drinks you consume may cause changes in the color of your teeth. Teeth discoloration also occurs when the enamel wears away and exposes the dentin. This is a normal part of the aging process.
3. Dry Mouth
It’s common for elderly adults to have maintenance drugs to help manage different health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Others undergo chemotherapy that may cause a decline in a person’s oral health.
These medications can cause dry mouth; insufficient saliva production causes tooth decay, leading to tooth loss in adults.
4. Smaller Nerves
As you get older, the nerves of your teeth get smaller, making them less sensitive. Older adults will not feel oral problems progress, leading to tooth decay and elderly tooth loss.
5. Gum Recession
Muscle and bone loss happens with age. When the muscles and bones in your jaw and face recede, the gum recedes. Severe gum recession may loosen the teeth and result in tooth loss in adults.
Gums also recede with periodontal disease. It has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage characterized by gum inflammation. When left untreated, it becomes periodontitis, characterized by inflammation affecting the tissue and the bone holding the teeth in place.
Things You Can Do To Avoid Tooth Loss by Age
Now that you know what causes tooth loss in older people, the next thing is to know what you can do to prevent it from happening. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Regular dental checkups guarantee that your oral health is in top condition. Coupled with professional dental cleanings, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your teeth and mouth are clean and healthy.
Regular dental visits become more important as you get older. This will help find developing dental problems and prevent tooth loss by age.
2. Change Your Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes make brushing your teeth easier. When one gets older, their manual dexterity decreases. An electric toothbrush helps clean your teeth better than a manual toothbrush — preventing elderly tooth loss.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking poses a danger not only to your physical health but also to your oral health. The longer you smoke cigarettes, the more detrimental it will be to your teeth.
4. Drink Water
Drinking plenty of water plays a major role in your oral health. This becomes more important for older adults with maintenance medications. Avoid dry mouth and keep your oral health in great condition by drinking water.
Century Dental Is Here to Prevent Elderly Tooth Loss
If you want to avoid tooth loss in adults, visit Century Dental.
We have a licensed dentist in Treasure Island, FL. With us, your oral health is in good hands. We have a dedicated dental team who will be with you every step of the way. Call us today, and we’ll take care of your permanent teeth!