You may think that tooth loss is an inevitable part of growing older, but it doesn’t have to be. Tooth loss is the result of disease or trauma. It becomes harder to avoid some of these problems as you age, but if you do, your teeth can last a lifetime.
Your Teeth Come with a Lifetime Guarantee
Your teeth are designed to last you a lifetime. The problem with this, as with any “lifetime guarantee” is, “How long is a lifetime?” Early hominids and humans usually lived to the ripe old age of 30 or so, dying because of disease or injury. Some managed to avoid injury and became elders, who lived to the age of 50 or so, although they often had few or no teeth. People didn’t usually live much longer than this until recently, with life expectancies topping 70 in the early twentieth century, and reaching over 80 by the beginning of this century.
If you want your teeth to last for this extended lifespan, you have to take good care of them.
Avoid Tooth Trauma
Tooth trauma can lead to tooth loss. Most traumatic tooth loss is associated with people using their teeth as tools or to contact sports.
Never use your teeth as a bottle opener, pair of pliers, nutcracker, or icebreaker. They’re not ideally suited to any of these purposes, and you will likely damage them. Incidentally, the musculature and tooth damage patterns on neanderthals suggest that they often used their teeth as tools, but they were better designed for it than modern humans.
If you participate in contact sports, see a dentist to get a mouth guard fitted. Boil-and-bite or off-the-shelf mouth guards are inadequate for protecting your teeth from trauma.
The main cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease, when bacteria in your mouth attack the gums and bones that support your teeth. It is responsible for about 70% of tooth loss in the US. You can avoid periodontal disease by following good oral hygiene procedures. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss your teeth every day. And visit your dentist regularly for advanced hygiene appointments. For most people, twice a year visits are recommended, but some people may need more and others fewer.
Other diseases that can lead to tooth damage and loss include autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and xerostomia, a condition in which your body doesn’t produce sufficient saliva. Xerostomia is often a side effect of medications, and its effects can often be overcome with additional care.
We Can Help You Avoid or Reverse Tooth Loss
If you are looking for a partner to help you avoid tooth loss, B&D Dental Excellence in the Rockland, NY area is here for you. We can also help if you have suffered tooth loss. We offer several tooth replacement options, such as dental implants and bridges.
For help with teeth that can truly last a lifetime, please contact B&D Dental Excellence in West Nyack, NY today.