Question: I was talking to some friends at bingo last month and my friend had concerns that she was going to loose her teeth. Could you tell me if tooth loss inevitable in the later years?
Answer: No! Today, older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer because of scientific developments and the preventive emphasis in dentistry. This improvement was seen in the results of a survey released by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. They showed that among persons aged 55 to 64, the rate of toothlessness dropped 60 percent since 1960.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental care are important throughout your life, whatever your age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist regularly, you will prevent dental problems and save time and money as well. In the process, you can save your teeth and gums. Gum disease often progresses slowly, without pain, over a long period of time. This is one reason why it is common among older adults. The longer the disease goes undetected and uncontrolled, the more damage it causes to gums and other supporting tissues. Although periodontal disease is caused by plaque, other factors can increase the risk or severity of the condition. These include food left between the teeth, smoking, smokeless (spit) tobacco use, badly aligned teeth, ill-fitting bridges or partial dentures, poor diets and systemic diseases such as anemia.
Although periodontal disease is common, it can be controlled or arrested. In its early stages, it can be reversed. Treatment of advanced cases may require surgery. Look for these warning signs and see your dentist if you notice any of them: bleeding gums when you brush; red, tender or swollen gums; gums that have pulled away from the teeth; pus between your teeth and gums when the gums are pressed; loose teeth or teeth that are moving apart; any change in your bite; any change in the fit of your partial dentures; constant bad breath or bad taste. It is therefore important to get your condition evaluated and treated by your dentist. Please feel free to call our Shelby Township office at (586) 573-4500 to make an appointment.
Shelby Township Dentist Discusses Tooth Loss