During our childhood, the loss of a tooth was an exciting occasion that meant money under our pillows and adorable toothless grins in our school photos. But tooth loss in adulthood is not such a happy event.
Losing a tooth later in life can not only cause embarrassment and a reluctance to show the world our biggest and brightest smile, it can also create speech problems, stiff jaws, and difficulty eating.
Although the consequences of tooth loss in adulthood are vastly different than they are in childhood, many of the causes are the same. Poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition are two of the main contributors to tooth loss at any age. Injuries from contact sports and a fear of the dentist can also cause tooth loss in people of all ages.
Adult Tooth Loss
As we age, there are other factors that can affect our oral health as well. Periodontal (gum) disease can eventually cause tooth loss if left untreated. Other diseases common to older adults, such as diabetes, certain auto immune disorders, and osteoporosis, can also cause tooth decay and loss. Dry mouth caused by certain medications is yet another issue that can contribute to oral health issues in adults.
Tooth Loss Prevention
Fortunately, there are several steps we can take to help prevent and treat tooth decay in adulthood. The most important step we can take to prevent tooth issues is to use good oral hygiene practices. Brush twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush, floss after meals, and schedule bi-yearly dental cleanings for optimal oral health.
Eating a healthy, well balanced diet, and using mouth guards if we play sports can also go a long way in helping us keep our teeth intact. As we age, it is also very important that we make yearly visits to our doctors to monitor our blood sugar, inflammation markers, and bone density. Discussing the potential side effects of our medications with our doctors and pharmacists can also help us prevent tooth loss from dry mouth.
Tooth Loss Treatment in Parma Heights, Ohio
Even though there are many things we can do to support good oral health as we grow older, tooth loss can still happen. However, there are several ways to treat tooth loss, including dental implants and bridges, as well as partial and complete dentures. If you have any questions or concerns about treating tooth loss, or your oral health plan in general, please make an appointment or contact Dr. Wolnik: