Everyone wishes to have a healthy, brilliant, tooth-filled smile when they get advanced in years. However, the reality is that dentures are often the fate of many older patients. Dentures can be uncomfortable and expensive, but for many senior patients, they offer the only solution for a great smile and the ability to eat and speak.
There are many reasons why adult patients lose their teeth, some earlier than others. Some of the reasons for tooth loss are from natural causes such as the aging process. As one ages their bones, including their jawbones and teeth weaken and deteriorate, resulting in lost teeth. Sometimes adult teeth are lost due to trauma to the mouth where a tooth got knocked out or broken.
A common reason a patient’s smile is ruined by lost teeth is poor or inadequate care of their teeth and gums.
Bad Choices for Oral Health
It may not seem like a big deal if one occasionally smokes a cigarette or “forgets” to brush and floss his or her teeth. However, just doing, or not doing something, one time can lead to multiple instances of poor oral hygiene which in turn can lead to bad habits. Below are some bad habits that can do a number on your oral health over time and increase your chances of being a senior patient who must resort to dentures:
Smoking. Tobacco not only gives you bad-smelling breath and gross yellow teeth, but it can also destroy your gum tissue, leading to possible severe gum disease. Serious gum disease can result in the destruction of the jawbone and tooth loss.
Inconsistent at-home oral hygiene routines. By skipping just one day or night of flossing or tooth brushing can allow germs and debris left in the mouth to decay and form cavity destroying plaque.
Inadequate oral hygiene routines. Even if one flosses and brushes his or her teeth twice a day, there could be some missed bacteria. On the other hand, an oral hygiene routine that is too harsh and rigorous can scratch the tooth enamel and injure the soft tissue of the gums, making them both more vulnerable to decay and disease.
Poor diet. Many patients know that a diet filled with sugary sweets and deep-fried morsels are bad for your teeth and waistline. However, it is hard to resist cheap, convenient, great-tasting food. Drinking water immediately afterwards and/or brushing one’s teeth after a meal or a snack can help mitigate the possible negative effects of the sugars.
Not drinking enough water. If the first thing you reach for is a soda, even a diet one, when you’re thirsty, you’re exposing your teeth and gums to excessive sugar.
Not seeing the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and checkup can increase one’s chances of gum disease and tooth decay. When adequate preventative dental measures aren’t taken, restorative dental procedures will be necessary to prevent them from destroying one’s smile.
On the flip side, patients who take care of their teeth and gums including proper at-home oral hygiene and going regularly to the dental office and who don’t smoke or eat an unhealthy diet, are more likely to keep their smile much longer.
Whether or not you’re experiencing any kind of discomfort in your mouth, if it has been more than six months since your last dental check-up, contact your dentist today to schedule an appointment.