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May 1

Are You at Risk for Tooth Loss?

177351823Do you find yourself fretting about the idea of one day having to wear dentures? Does the thought of spending hours in the dental chair undergoing uncomfortable oral procedures for dental implants give you goose bumps?

If you worry about one day losing your teeth, take heart. While tooth loss ranks as a common problem among senior adults, it’s not an unavoidable part of the aging process. Your teeth can live to an old age, as long as you take proper care of them throughout your lifetime. The only way to lose permanent teeth is through trauma or disease, which are both avoidable if you make the right effort.

Tooth Loss from Trauma

When the irresistible force of trauma meets the immovable object that is your teeth, something is bound to give. Oral trauma could be anything from getting hit with an elbow while playing a game of pick up basketball to biting down on an olive pit.

While your teeth are designed for mashing, gnashing, chewing and chomping, they make poor substitutes for household items like scissors and bottle openers. Therefore you should always avoid using your teeth to remove caps, tops or lips, or tear open bags, break pieces of string or loosen knots.

Your teeth are also meant to chew on items that are supposed to be eaten, not munch on hard, inflexible items like pen caps and pencil erasers. Even hard food items, like ice cubes, rock candy and nut shells can place unnatural stress on your teeth, increasing the risk of them cracking or breaking.

Individuals who frequently grind or clench their teeth at night – often as a result of stress – can place too much pressure on their teeth, which can lead to trauma.

Fortunately, you can avoid oral trauma by taking a few simple precautions. First: never place anything into your mouth you don’t plan on eating. Second: always wear a mouth guard when participating in any kind of sport. Finally: if you suffer from grinding or clenching at night, talk with one of our doctors at Arbor Dental Group about treating your condition.

Tooth Loss from Disease

The bacterial buildup that sticks to your teeth known as plaque causes decay and can lead to the development of periodontal disease, which results in inflammation of the gums and destroys supporting tissues such as bones and ligaments. With the destruction of supportive tissue, teeth become loose and eventually lost.

While practicing poor oral hygiene and a lack of professional care are big factors when it comes tooth loss related to periodontal disease, additional factors can place you at a higher risk for the disease and potential tooth loss. Known risk factors for tooth loss include arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, poor nutrition and smoking.

Fluctuating hormones during pregnancy can also increase a woman’s response to the disease, making it extremely important to schedule regular appointments at Arbor Dental Group throughout a pregnancy.

Most of the time, dental disease is the result of neglect. Failing to brush and floss daily lead to the build up of bacteria that will erode away at the foundation of your teeth and increase the risk of tooth loss. By spending the time needed to properly care for your teeth daily, and scheduling regular check ups and cleaning at Arbor Dental Group, you keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.

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