People generally experience tooth loss at two points during their lifetime. The first takes place during childhood, as baby teeth give way to adult teeth. The second occurs naturally with age. That’s why many seniors wear dentures.
What causes tooth loss in adults? Is there any way to delay the phenomenon?
Find out in this article.
Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is a major cause of adult tooth loss.
Bacteria grow naturally in the mouth on a daily basis. Furthermore, food residue tends to get caught between the teeth, which promotes bacterial growth and can cause cavities. Cavities that aren’t caught and treated promptly can become severe enough to cause pulp necrosis.
Being diligent with your daily dental hygiene routine is vital in order to prevent cavities. It’s also important to visit the dentist at least once a year so that they can assess your oral health and identify any abnormalities.
Poor eating habits and tooth loss
Did you know that your eating habits can have a major impact on your dental health?
A diet rich in acidic foods and refined sugars significantly increases your risk of developing cavities and infections. The sugar mixes with the bacteria in dental plaque to produce acid that can damage your teeth. In the long term, poor eating habits can cause premature tooth loss in adults.
That’s why oral health specialists recommend adopting a healthy, balanced diet. Sugary foods should be consumed in moderation to prevent cavities and infections.
Gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gingivitis is a gum infection caused by poor dental hygiene and insufficient gum tissue stimulation. If left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis, a more serious infection that deteriorates the gum tissue, making it easier for teeth to fall out.
It’s important to be proactive about your periodontal health if you want to have good oral health in old age.
Smoking, bruxism and other detrimental behaviours
Certain behaviours, some of which are beyond our control, can have a profound impact on the condition of our teeth.
Smoking is one of the behaviours that should be avoided for better oral health. The chemical components of tobacco reduce blood flow in the mouth and the body in general, decreasing the amount of oxygen cells receive. The lack of oxygen increases the risk of gum disease, which, as mentioned above, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is another behaviour that can be detrimental to your oral health. The friction and jaw clenching involved can deteriorate teeth prematurely. Bruxism is a behaviour that is difficult to control because it generally occurs during sleep. If you or your child grind your teeth in your sleep, it’s important to talk to an oral and maxillofacial surgery specialist to determine the cause of the problem and find a solution.
Other behaviours such as chewing ice and getting a lip or tongue piercing can also be detrimental to oral health and should be avoided in order to prevent tooth loss.
Understanding the causes of tooth loss for better oral health
There are a variety of factors that can cause adult tooth loss. Fortunately, there are a few simple lifestyle habits you can adopt to keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible. Maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding smoking and visiting the dentist regularly are a few examples of steps you can take to protect your teeth.
Check out the Clinique MFML blog for more oral health tips for children, adults and seniors.