by Dr. Zenon Farian, DDS
It may be common to see more people around you wearing dentures as you get into your 60s, 70s, and 80s – but this does not mean tooth loss is your destiny! Losing teeth is not something that happens “naturally” as a result of getting old. Tooth loss is caused by neglect, plain and simple.
Neglecting to have your teeth examined regularly means cavities may develop and spread before restorations can preserve them. Tooth decay caught in its earliest stages rarely results in the loss of a tooth. Neglect that tooth for a year or more, however, and the cavity may eventually cause too much damage for the tooth to be saved with a root canal or crown. Neglecting oral hygiene and dental cleanings can lead to gum disease, the number one cause of pervasive tooth loss. This condition happens when mouth bacteria invade the gums and slowly destroy gum tissue until tooth roots become destabilized and exposed to decay.
In the past, gum disease may have been so common in older populations that it was considered “natural,” but today we know that gum disease is treatable and preventable. As a result of advanced methods of combating the disease today, more and more people are able to keep their teeth for life – but only with regular dental care!
It’s important to mention that tooth loss is not genetic. Natural resistance to bacteria may vary somewhat based on hereditary factors, but having parents who wear dentures does not mean you are destined to wear them, too! If you take the following steps, you will have a better chance of avoiding tooth decay and gum disease:
Be vigilant in your home care: brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, for two minutes each time.
Floss every day.
Floss every day. (Yes, this is worth saying twice. If you have trouble using loose floss, there are many flossing alternatives that can accomplish the same goals, such as oral irrigators and end-tufted brushes.)
If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis or gum disease, follow all of Dr. Farian’s recommended treatments. Keeping mouth bacteria under control is the goal of periodontal treatments, and you can’t do this on your own.
Visit Dr. Farian at least twice a year for check-ups and preventive treatments.
If it’s been a while since your last dental appointment, call our office to schedule a visit. Routine dental care with Dr. Farian is the most important step in preventing the disease that causes tooth loss. We want all our patients to keep their teeth for life. It is possible!
Keep Smiling. And make it a good one!
Farian Dental Care
229 E. Wallings Rd., Suite 100
Broadview Hts., OH 44147
Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.