The Family Dentistry of South Florida agrees that although dental problems can happen for a variety of different reasons, many of them occur because we neglect our teeth and don’t give routine dental care the attention it deserves. Lapses in oral hygiene and other basic tooth care responsibilities can cause a range of serious issues, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. The last of these is especially serious and also remarkably preventable.
Here are eight common factors which can increase your vulnerability to tooth loss:
* Tooth loss becomes more likely once you pass 35 years of age.
* Tooth loss is more common in men than women.
* The longer it has been since you have been treated by a dentist, the more likely tooth loss becomes.
* Smoking or using other tobacco process increases the risk of tooth loss.
* Diabetes is a risk factor for tooth loss.
* The same goes for rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and chronic gum disease.
While these factors do not cause tooth loss directly, they can significantly increase your risk of suffering the condition and pose a real challenge to maintaining good dental health.
Gum disease (technically known to top Lake Worth dentists as periodontal disease) is the single dental condition most likely to lead directly to tooth loss. Gum disease affects people everywhere; most of us will have problems with our gums sooner or later. Extensive research shows that gum disease is slightly more common in men than women. Scientific data also shows that gum disease occurs more frequently as we get older. The risk increases past the age of 35. Smoking is also strongly connected to serious gum disease. Three out of ten patients who experience serious gum disease are smokers or former smokers.
Regular care from dental professionals is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. Studies show that fully 40 percent of the people who lose teeth to gum disease have never seen a dentist. Only 13 percent of the people who end up having a tooth extracted have visited a dentist in the past six months.
You own efforts at dental hygiene also play a huge role. 60 percent of the people who lose teeth report that they brushed their teeth rarely or not at all. In contrast, only 16 percent of patients who lost teeth reported brushing their teeth twice a day. The numbers demonstrate very clearly that the steps we take at home to take care of our teeth can have a huge positive impact on our dental health and prevent many cases of tooth loss.
Of course, not every part of dental health is within our control. Tooth loss is strongly connected to other non-dental health problems, like diabetes. One in five patients (20 percent) who needed a tooth extraction also suffered from type 2 diabetes. Scientific research has confirmed that diabetes and gum disease frequently tend to occur together. Among tooth extraction patients, high blood pressure also showed up frequently, affecting about one in ten. The link between gum disease and high blood pressure is slightly more common in female patients.
Tooth loss is a serious problem and many of the challenges it presents are obvious ones. There are more subtle and ongoing problems to worry about when you lose a tooth, though. Negative health effects don’t stop when the tooth comes out. Losing a tooth also affects the underlying alveolar bone and your gum tissue. Over time, the negative effect can spread to the basal bone and from there to your other teeth.
It is because of these long-term complications that professional dental care is absolutely essential. Regular visits to your dentist (ordinarily twice a year) will safeguard your dental health and allow you to correct problems before they grow serious.
Tooth loss can be overcome thanks to effective treatments like dental implants. To solve the tooth loss problem, work together with your dentist and take steps to improve your dental health.