Did you know that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? In fact, 36 million people in the United States are missing all of their teeth. If you think you may be at greater risk for adult tooth loss, it is important to be particularly diligent about your dental hygiene and maintaining your oral health. Check out the following criteria to learn your risk level for this oral health issue.
One of the strongest indicators of your risk for adult tooth loss is your dental hygiene routine. Poor dental hygiene can lead to severe tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can cause tooth loss. Therefore, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily.
Is your diet high in sugar? If you eat a lot of sugary snacks, candy, or chewing gum, you may be at greater risk for tooth loss. These sugars feed the bacteria in plaque, which release harmful acids onto your teeth and cause decay. The damage done by these sugars is even more severe if you don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating.
As you age, your risk of adult tooth loss increases. Studies have shown that adults over the age of 65 were 6 times more likely to have complete tooth loss and 1.9 times more likely to have partial tooth loss as those under the age of 65.
While the cause is still unknown, research shows that men are more likely to lose their adult teeth than women. Therefore, men need to be much more diligent about maintaining their oral health.
One of the leading causes of tooth loss is gum disease. There are more than 3 million cases of periodontitis in the United States each year. If left untreated, gum disease can make these supportive tissues less stable, causing tooth loss. Luckily, gum disease is easily prevented with a solid dental hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist.
If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, it may be more difficult for your body to fight off infection. This can make you more susceptible to illnesses like gum disease and increase your risk of tooth loss.
While the correlation has yet to be explained, studies have shown that those with high blood pressure also commonly suffer from tooth loss.
Not only does tobacco usage increase your risk of gum disease, but it also makes the illness more difficult to treat. By harming these supportive tissues, smokers increase their risk of adult tooth loss. Thankfully, quitting smoking can significantly lessen your risk of getting periodontitis and can reduce your risk of tooth loss.
Do you grind your teeth in your sleep? Whether this oral health issue is caused by a sleep disorder or chronic stress, it can cause serious damage to your teeth over time. In addition to increasing your chances for tooth loss, it can also lead to TMJ issues, headaches, tooth decay, and more.
Lack of Dental Care
The American Dental Association recommends that you have regular check-ups with the dentist at least once every six months. This provides you the opportunity to receive the necessary preventative and restorative care that can keep your teeth in good condition and prevent tooth loss.