Tooth Loss and Ageing

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Tooth Loss and Ageing

Imagine looking at your toothless self in the mirror. It isn’t a pretty sight, is it?

Many people think that as you age and grow older, losing your teeth is inevitable. While tooth loss is common, ending up toothless and wearing dentures is largely caused by your own doing. Tooth loss can be prevented but it requires a long-term commitment to healthy dental practices and diet choices. By being serious in your dental hygiene and oral health, you can avoid losing teeth even as you age.

Causes of Tooth Loss

Adults lose teeth for a variety of reasons including:

Poor Oral Hygiene and Dietary Habits

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day are standard dental hygiene practices always recommended by any dentist. By religiously sticking to these practices and routines, you are stopping plaque from building up on your teeth or in between your teeth. Plaque buildup facilitates cavity formation, cause gum infection and inflammation, and eventually weakens the tissues that support the teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out.

Regular visit to the dentist is equally important. Your twice a year visit to the dentist will prevent any dental problem from escalating into a serious problem as the dentist will be able to detect any impending oral or dental problem looming inside your mouth. Skipping these important dental checkups will ultimately result to tooth loss.

Poor dietary choices and habits can also contribute to the fast deterioration of your tooth. By not choosing the right foods that will not cause or contribute to tooth decay or cavity formation, you are speeding up the process of losing your teeth early in life.

Trauma and Tooth Loss

One may lose teeth with a severe blow to the face either intentionally or otherwise. This is common to people involved in sports like basketball, football, or boxing. If the trauma is severe and intense, the tooth may be damaged beyond repair ultimately resulting to tooth loss.

Tooth loss can also occur with constant use of your teeth as a tool, such as opening bottle caps, tearing bags, cracking ice cubes or holding pins. Clenching and grinding teeth can also put over 800 pounds of pressure on your teeth. This could lead to fractures and eventual tooth loss. A mouth guard will help protect your teeth if you clench or grind teeth.

Disease and Tooth Loss

You can lose your teeth from a disease of systemic origin. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, osteomyelitis, cancer, and autoimmune disorders can result to tooth loss. These diseases affect the health of the mouth although in different ways. Diabetes can cause gum tissue to be more susceptible to infection while radiation for cancer patients can cause tooth loss.

Similarly, periodontal disease due to poor oral or dental hygiene can also cause tooth loss.

Preventing Tooth Loss

Tooth loss may be prevented by sticking to a good dental health habits which include daily brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist twice a year, and keeping a healthy diet to minimize the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.

Dr. Allan Hawryluk
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Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).