11 Jan Healthy Smile = Healthy Life
Healthy Smile = Healthy Life
The National Center for Health Statistics says 27 percent of Americans aged 20-64 have untreated tooth decay. Untreated tooth decay can lead to partial edentulism or total loss of natural teeth. As we age, the prevalence of tooth loss increases. A biannual teeth cleaning appointment is one of the best ways to prevent progressive decay that could result in tooth loss.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
Edentulism is generally associated with the elderly and can be caused by a number of factors.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing, flossing, and keeping your annual teeth cleaning routine can cause tooth loss. This is particularly true when not brushing at least twice each day.
- Poor diet: Food high in sugar or acidity can cause tooth and gum damage.
- Tobacco: Smoking or using smokeless tobacco can not only stain your teeth, but overtime can lead to tooth loss or even oral cancer.
- Finances: Those who do not have access to dental insurance or the finances to cover annual teeth cleanings or other dental procedures often go years without seeing a dentist.
Other factors contribute to tooth loss – certain medical treatments, trauma, fear or embarrassment – but nearly all of them are avoidable.
Who Is Affected By Tooth Loss?
More than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades. The elderly are at the greatest risk of losing their natural teeth. Seniors over age 65 have lost an average of 13 teeth, including wisdom teeth, and 26 percent of seniors over age 65 have no remaining teeth, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Over the years, plaque can accumulate and harden, aging fillings and dry mouth also contribute to tooth loss in the older population.
To keep a healthy smile, searching for affordable dentists near me is step one. When choosing your local dentist, ask questions about procedures, treatments, and payment options, including what dental insurance is accepted.
Losing teeth as you age is not unavoidable. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine – brushing, flossing, proper diet, annual teeth cleaning – will help you sustain a healthy smile and good oral health as you grow older.
How To Treat Tooth Loss?
There are many options available to replace missing teeth. Dentures, crowns, and bridges are replacement options. Rinehart Dentistry also offers dental implants. Contact our Georgetown dental office or our Pawleys Island dental office today to schedule your consultation.