Losing a tooth during childhood can be a welcome and exciting part of growing up. But losing a permanent tooth as an adult isn’t very pleasant. And in many cases, the loss derives from a deeper oral health problem that needs addressing.
Our experienced team of dentists at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, provides preventive care to help keep your permanent teeth healthy. We also provide tooth replacement options, such as dentures and dental implants, for teeth that fall out or need extraction.
Let’s dive into adult tooth loss, including statistics, causes, and ways to lower your risk.
Adult tooth loss, by the numbers
Statistically, the rate of adult tooth loss in the United States is high. About 26% of adults aged 65 and older only have eight or fewer teeth. And 17% of adults in the same age group have lost all of their teeth.
A significant risk factor for tooth loss is smoking. In fact, people who smoke are three times as likely to lose all of their adult teeth compared to non-smokers.
What causes adult tooth loss
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
Gum disease is a significant condition where your gum tissue becomes infected, often as a result of poor hygiene habits and a lack of dental care. The progressive disease causes tender or painful gums, gums that bleed, and gums that pull away from your teeth.
Gum recession allows harmful bacteria between your gums and teeth. If it goes untreated, the infection can erode your teeth and gum tissue, causing your teeth to loosen, decay, or fall out.
While less common, injuries and accidents also cause tooth loss in adulthood.
How to prevent adult tooth loss
Taking optimal care of your teeth and gums is the best way to keep them healthy. To do so, the American Dental Association recommends several steps:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes two times a day
- Using a fluoride toothpaste
- Cleaning between your teeth daily, using a water pick, dental floss, or flosser
- Scheduling routine dental cleanings
At your cleaning, our team at Swinney Dental may recommend a mouthwash to prevent decay or other preventive measures, such as a fluoride treatment or a deeper cleaning to remove tartar under the gumline.
To learn more about adult tooth loss or benefit from preventive care, call our dental team at Swinney Dental today. You can also schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking feature on our website.