Tooth loss may not be a high priority with all the age-related health challenges we face,
especially if you have a good oral hygiene routine. However, several factors can contribute to tooth loss as you age.
Enamel erosion, wear-and-tear from years of use, and the natural loss of bone tissue can damage, loosen, or cause cavities in teeth. Our specialists at Chester Family Dentistry in Warren, Ohio, are here to give you professional advice on maintaining a healthy smile well into your golden years.
What causes age-related tooth loss?
The most common conditions that become prevalent and affect oral health as you age are gum disease and dry mouth. Gum disease (or periodontal disease) caused by bacteria and tartar leads the gums to recede away from the teeth, allowing bacteria to accumulate and cause infection. Around two in three Americans aged 65 or older have gum disease.
Dry mouth, or a lack of saliva, results from chronic health conditions such as diabetes and some medications. Dry mouth can promote bacteria that cause difficulty swallowing, sores in the mouth, and cavities.
Maintaining dental hygiene as you age
To prevent the causes of tooth loss as you age, keep in mind these four tips:
Keep a thorough dental hygiene routine
Unsurprisingly, brushing and flossing twice daily is the most beneficial part of preventing dental issues as you age. A meticulous oral hygiene routine is the easiest thing to do daily to ensure you keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible.
Visit your dentist regularly
Along with at-home oral maintenance, don’t forget to schedule regular dental check-ups with us at least twice a year. During your dental exam, our specialists can find and treat cracked teeth, cavities, and receding gums before they begin to cause problems. During a cleaning, we remove plaque and tartar build-up from hard-to-reach areas in your mouth using special instruments that reach where brushing and flossing can’t.
A healthy diet counts
Most people know that sugar harms your teeth, but did you know that eating a healthy diet can have a positive impact on your oral health? The vitamins and minerals provided by a well-balanced diet help to keep your teeth, gums, and jawbone healthy. Stay away from beverages sweetened with sugar and highly acidic items such as sodas, fruit juices, and sports drinks, as they can erode the enamel of your teeth.
Do not ignore dry mouth
Dry mouth, or lack of saliva, is one of the causes of oral bacteria that promote tooth decay. You can steer clear of dry mouth by increasing your water intake or using products recommended by your dentist to help rinse or moisturize your mouth. We may recommend adjusting your current medications or prescribe a saliva-boosting treatment for a severe case of dry mouth.
Take the first step to preventing tooth loss
The best way to keep your smile looking young is to schedule a dental exam with our team of trusted dental professionals. Contact Chester Family Dentistry today, and let our experts help you develop a plan tailored to your unique needs to prevent tooth loss as you age.