It’s a common myth that tooth loss is part of aging. Actually, tooth loss and aging aren’t connected in the way you might think! Sure, your chances of losing teeth as you age seems to increase but it isn’t tooth loss that’s the actual risk: it’s diseases of the mouth and other risk factors that cause tooth loss, not getting old!
We see a lot of patients of all ages at Anderson Dental Care and one of the most frequent questions we get is “how do I prevent tooth loss as I get older?” We could run down a list a mile long but it all boils down to making the right choices for your oral – and overall – health!
Studies have shown several factors that connect to the longevity of teeth. Some of them might surprise you and others probably seem obvious!
Smoking And Tooth Loss: Definitely Connected!
Tobacco use does a lot of things to your body and your mouth isn’t immune from its effects! Smoking has a strong link to gum disease, which is a major reason teeth are lost later in life. There are a lot of bacteria in your mouth and some of them are pretty harmful. Studies have shown that smoking increases the presence of harmful bacteria and lessens those that are harmless!
Those dangerous bacteria put you at increased risk for gum disease and smoking makes matters worse by weakening your immune system! Without the strength needed to fight infection gum disease can quickly damage your gums, teeth, and the bones that support them! This can quickly lead to tooth loss and a single tooth can start a chain reaction of more and more lost teeth!
Fluoride: Good For All Ages!
Fluoride is a naturally occurring relative of fluorine and it has an amazing ability: it rebuilds tooth enamel that’s lost to decay! Tooth decay happens to all of us all the time but it’s things like fluoride treatment that reverse the little bits of decay that we suffer from.
Tooth decay is caused by the acids that plaque bacteria produce. These acids weaken and damage the enamel of your teeth and lead to more and more damage over time. Just the simple act of using fluoride toothpaste twice a day can stop or reverse this damage! We also recommend our older patients use a fluoride rinse or other supplement as well.
It’s always better to use a toothbrush and floss to clean your teeth, but studies have shown that proper use of a toothpick reduce the chances of losing teeth as you age! Toothpicks can help you remove food stuck between your teeth and can stimulate saliva production – both are key to maintaining a healthy mouth!
As beneficial as they can be, toothpicks are still potentially harmful. They can irritate your gums and wooden ones can splinter and cause even more harm! We recommend careful use of a toothpick that’s made of plastic or is designed by a dental care company to be most effective.
Regular Cleanings And Exams
You can do everything possible to prevent damage to your teeth and still not be successful. Your ability to clean the deepest, tightest corners of your mouth is limited to what you can see and feel, but there are plenty of hard-to-clean spots that you’re unable to get on your own!
To maintain a healthy mouth and minimize your chances of tooth loss we recommend regular cleanings and exams at our Cincinnati dentist office. Not only can we clean the areas that you can’t, but we can also identify and treat problems before they become serious!
Proactive Care Is The Best Treatment Possible!
Gum disease is one of the major tooth killers for aging Americans. Thankfully it’s easy to fight and can often be reversed if treated early enough! It’s important to see us every six months as you age – that’s the best way to treat problems before they become real problems!
Make a commitment to your smile for life no matter how old you are – call Anderson Dental Care today to schedule a cleaning and exam and gum disease treatment! You can reach us at (513) 231-7755 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!