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4 Reasons Why the Likelihood of Tooth Loss Increases With Age

4 Reasons Why the Likelihood of Tooth Loss Increases With Age

Our bodies change as we age, and that’s normal. When old cells and organs cannot function well, changes happen in bodily function and appearance. These changes affect all parts of the body, including the teeth and gums. If you think that tooth loss is inevitable with age regardless of what you do, you are mistaken! Time and age can cause more oral health problems for the elderly, but they are not the main reasons for tooth loss. Find out how to prevent tooth loss as you age by preserving your teeth for many decades to come.
You can't brush off sports injuries

1. You can't brush off sports injuries

The most common dental trauma is a fractured or lost tooth. Dental trauma can occur due to various reasons such as participation in contact sports, motor vehicle accidents, impact to the face, falling, or accidentally biting on hard objects. If your tooth has been knocked out, do not throw it away. Clean any dirt on the tooth, put it in a container with milk or your own saliva, or push the tooth back into its socket if you can and rush to the dentist as soon as possible. Some risky activities or contact sports can make you more susceptible to accidents that cause dental injury, so it is best to wear a mouthguard for protection.

2. If you smoke, you increase your chances of tooth loss

If you are a smoker, you are definitely at a higher risk of getting gum disease compared to a non-smoker. Severe gum disease can destroy the supporting soft tissue and bone, leading to tooth loss. People who smoke may not even be able to resort to gum treatment. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, men who smoke lose 2.9 teeth for every 10 years of smoking, while for women it is 1.5 teeth per decade. Cutting down the use of tobacco and having a good oral hygiene routine can help to prevent periodontal disease, which is a condition that may result in tooth loss.

If you have not replaced lost teeth

3. If you have not replaced lost teeth

Replacing a missing tooth is actually more than just about how you look. What is the big deal about losing a tooth? Other than causing difficulty in chewing and speaking, adjacent teeth will drift into the gap. With no stimulation of the tooth roots, the gums and jaw will further deteriorate, weakening surrounding teeth. Replace a missing tooth as soon as possible to avoid losing more teeth.

Breathing through your mouth

4. Breathing through your mouth

People who breathe through their mouths instead of their noses are known as the ‘mouth breathers’. Many people might not be aware that they are breathing through their mouths — especially at night — so look for symptoms like snoring, dry mouth or bad breath in the morning, sinus and ear infections, or waking up feeling tired. Mouth breathing can be due to habit or obstruction of the upper airway, which can result in bruxism. Breathing through the mouth due to nasal congestion can lead to tooth wear and fractures over time. If this is the case, it is advisable to invest in a saline nasal spray to clear the congestion and help you breathe through your nose, reducing the need for mouth breathing and potential dental problems.

Being a dentist at the prestigious Tiew Dental, Dr Jacquelyn Lim is one you can rely on for accurate, professional advice. She graduated from University Malaya in 2019, and now has invaluable experience and knowledge, thanks to her time serving at government dental clinics. She has a special interest in Orthodontics and Periodontics. When she’s not treating patients at her clinic, she is either at the gym or travelling to her favourite destination.
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4 Reasons Why the Likelihood of Tooth Loss Increases With Age