Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage on the road to adulthood. However, once those “permanent” teeth grow in, you can still lose them too. Unfortunately, when this occurs, you don’t have another one waiting to take its place. And in reality, losing permanent teeth is far more common than you may realize.
Most people assume tooth loss is just another problem linked with aging. However, 7% of Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth by the time they turned 17. Worse yet? Nearly half of adults have gum disease by age 30 — a significant cause of tooth loss.
Fortunately, you can take action at any age to reduce your chances of tooth floss. And the best part? It’s never too early to start.
Our team at The Dental Touch treats everyone in their care like a member of the family. Under their careful guidance, you can learn the tools you need to keep tooth loss at bay. Or, if you’ve lost a permanent tooth already, replace it and restore your oral health.
Understanding tooth loss
While a baby tooth can suffer from decay and cavities, they often fall out so permanent “adult” teeth can move in. Kids typically start losing these teeth, also known as primary teeth, around age six. The process usually finishes around age 12, and they’re left with 32 adult teeth.
Once those adult teeth come in, people often assume they’re safe from tooth loss until old age — or unless an injury occurs. However, gum disease is the leading cause of this oral health problem, and it has become increasingly common in people of all ages, including teenagers.
Research shows that 2 in 5 Americans have some form of gum disease. Gum disease occurs when you have a buildup of plaque on your teeth and gums. The substance contains bacteria, which puts gum tissue at risk. When ignored, gum disease worsens, weakening your gum tissue and penetrating deep into your jawbone. As these support structures weaken, your teeth can loosen and start to fall out.
In addition to gum disease, tooth decay — or cavities — is another leading cause of tooth loss. And estimates show that more than 1 in 4 Americans have untreated tooth decay. Like gum disease, this problem occurs because bacteria build up on your teeth. Without treatment, it can destroy the tooth, leading to fracture, pain, and tooth loss.
Now, are you ready for some good news? It’s never been easier to protect your teeth from these problems.
Reducing your risk of tooth loss
You may have noticed that the primary cause of gum disease and tooth decay involves plaque buildup and bacteria. But you can take action to keep them at a minimum by following these simple steps:
- Brush twice each day
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride
- Gently clean your tongue with a brush or scraper
- Floss each day
- Quit smoking
- Eat a well-balanced diet low in sugar
- Drink plenty of water
- Visit your dentist for regular professional cleanings and checkups
It’s also essential to contact your dentist if you notice any signs of a problem, like pain, persistent bleeding while brushing or flossing, or changes in the appearance of your teeth or gums. The sooner our team can detect and treat an issue, the lower the risk of serious complications — like tooth loss.
Adopting these habits as early as possible will keep your teeth and gums healthy at every stage of life.
Have you been to the dentist lately? Contact The Dental Touch to schedule an appointment today.