4 Reasons Seniors Are More Likely To Have Tooth Loss

Many elderly people in the United States have missing teeth. Over 27 percent of seniors over the age of 65 have no remaining teeth. Despite the fact that having missing teeth is common in the elderly, tooth loss comes from an oral disease, not from aging. Keep your real teeth your entire life with the right oral care and a healthy lifestyle, then you can avoid these four reasons for tooth loss in seniors.

Decrease in Oral Hygiene

Many people tend to neglect taking care of themselves as they age. There are many reasons for this occurrence. 

When you get older, you may not care about taking care of yourself as much because you rarely go out in public and. It may no longer be important to visit the dentist. Or, it may be hard for you to do basic personal care activities because of arthritis or other physical problems. 

Just as it can be common for an elderly person to reduce the number of times they bathe every week, brushing their teeth can take the same priority in their life.

Dry Mouth is a Common Issue

As you age, it can be common for you to have a problem with a dry mouth. This condition can be a side effect of taking certain medications, or it can be part of natural changes in your body as you get older. 

When you suffer from dry mouth, you cannot produce enough saliva to keep your mouth healthy. Saliva is naturally produced to wash away particles of food that are stuck to your teeth, and to neutralize and help dilute the acids in some of the foods you eat.

If you are having a problem with a dry mouth condition, talk to your dentist because they may be able to help you treat it.

Difficulty in Getting to the Dentist for Dental Care

It is often difficult for seniors to get around as they once could in their younger years. They may have a disability or not have access to a vehicle or even a driver's license. Also, if they are living in a senior home, they may not be allowed to drive themselves anywhere on their own and need to rely on others to take them around to any appointments.

Dental Care Was Different when They Were Young

When the seniors of today were in their 20s and 30s, dental care was different from what it is today. It was more common for a dentist to pull out a severely diseased tooth instead of trying to cap it or do a root canal. Knowledge of oral care, preventative options, and the technology to repair teeth has improved considerably over the years, so dentist are more able to save teeth today than they were fifty years ago.

Other possible reasons for seniors to have missing teeth today might be because having missing teeth and wearing dentures was more commonly accepted when they were younger than it is today. There is also fluoridated water available today, which was not available decades ago. 

As you age, there is no reason that you can't continue to take good care of your oral hygiene. This includes getting regular checkups every six months as recommended by the American Dental Association. You should also be brushing, flossing, and using a fluoride rinse daily. Be on the lookout for any swollen, red, or bleeding gums, as this can be a sign you have periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Watch out for these four causes that can lead to you having tooth loss and you can be on your way to keeping your teeth your whole life.

If you're already missing teeth and are looking at treatment options, contact a local clinic like Periodontics Limited.