According to the Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 27.2% of those over the age of 65 have no remaining teeth.
More mature seniors, smokers and people of lower income, are a few of the groups that are even more likely to have more remaining teeth.
How can you increase the odds of keeping your teeth as you age?
Brushing and Flossing Regularly
The most obvious way to maintain dental health throughout your life is brushing and flossing regularly.
Brush twice a day using a toothbrush with soft bristles – an electric toothbrush is worth the small investment as it tends to do a better job.
Using floss or some type of flossing tool to clean between your teeth at least once a day helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy too.
Regular Dental Checkups
Seeing a dentist in Dallas, PA, or the particular town in which you live regularly is also a must.
Those visits not only help you have whiter, cleaner teeth but can help prevent or identify diseases so that you can get treatment as quickly as possible.
Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss. The dentist can also look for signs of serious health issues like oral cancer.
The American Dental Association states that it encourages people to work closely with their dentists to identify potential risk factors that will determine the number of follow-up visits to ensure the best preventive care and outcomes.
Quit Smoking or Chewing
Smoking cigarettes have numerous negative effects on your health. In addition to putting you a greater risk for heart disease, lung, and other cancers, it increases the odds of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Chewing tobacco increases the risk of mouth cancer – in fact, the vast majority of people who get mouth-related cancer are tobacco users.
The chances of developing these types of cancers increase with each year a person chews tobacco or smokes.
Address Dry Mouth
If you’re taking multiple medications as many older people do, you’re likely to experience dry mouth which can have harmful effects to your oral health.
For example, calcium-channel blockers for heart disease can lead to puffy gum tissue, especially around the lower front teeth.
If it becomes extreme, the gums can become so overgrown they cover the teeth and will need to be trimmed surgically.
But there are hundreds of other pharmaceutical drugs that list dry mouth as a side effect too and, dry mouth also increases the risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Keep a dry mouth moist by drinking more water, sucking on sugarless candies, or using over-the-counter artificial saliva, while avoiding other things that can dry the mouth like caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
Those who suffer from dry mouth need to be extra diligent about brushing and flossing due to the higher risk of dental health problems.