10 Ways to Prevent Tooth Loss as You Age

An older couple smiling together.

According to this tooth loss age chart, adults aged 20 to 64 have 25.5 teeth. As we age, certain health concerns become increasingly common, and one of the most prevalent is tooth loss. Losing teeth can significantly impact not only our oral health but also our overall well-being and confidence. By learning how to prevent tooth loss, you can reduce the risks of losing your teeth.

# 1. Brush And Floss Daily

Regular brushing and flossing removes plaque and food particles that can build up on teeth and gums, preventing the accumulation of harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Equally important is flossing once a day

# 2. Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups every six months play a vital role in preventing tooth loss. These routine appointments monitor the health of your teeth and gums, identify potential issues early on, and provide necessary treatments or interventions to prevent further damage. 

During a dental checkup, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems. Additionally, your hygienist will clean your teeth, removing any plaque or tartar buildup that can contribute to tooth loss.

They may also take X-rays to detect hidden issues like bone loss or infections. 

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Can Tooth Bone Loss Be Reversed?

Tooth bone loss, also known as gum or periodontal disease, is a serious condition affecting the teeth’ supporting structures. Once bone loss has occurred, it cannot be completely reversed. However, with proper treatment and oral care, it is possible to halt or slow down the progression of the disease and prevent further bone loss.

# 3. Limit Sugary Snacks And Drinks

Sugary foods and beverages are a significant contributor to what causes tooth loss due to tooth decay and cavities. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and produce acids that attack your tooth enamel, leading to decay over time.

Reducing your intake of sugary snacks, such as candies, cookies, and cakes, and sugary drinks, like soda, sports drinks, and sweetened juices, is advisable. Instead, choose healthier alternatives like fresh fruits, nuts, water, or milk. 

# 4. Replace Any Missing Teeth

When even a single tooth is lost, it can have significant implications for the surrounding teeth, causing them to shift or become misaligned. This can lead to further dental problems, including bite issues, gum disease, and additional tooth loss. Exploring tooth replacement options such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures is recommended to prevent these complications. 

# 5. Never Use Your Teeth As A Tool

Many individuals use their teeth to open packages, tear off tags, or even crack nuts. However, these seemingly harmless actions can exert excessive pressure on your teeth, leading to chips, cracks, or fractures resulting in tooth loss.

# 6. Do Not Ignore Teeth Problems

Ignoring dental issues, such as toothaches, impacted wisdom teeth, gum inflammation, or sensitivity, can lead to more significant problems down the line, including tooth loss. If you experience any discomfort or notice changes in your oral health, seek professional dental care promptly. 

# 7. Protect Your Teeth During Sports

If you actively participate in sports or physical activities, protect your teeth from potential trauma. Accidents during sports can result in tooth loss or severe damage. Consider wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard while engaging in high-impact sports like football, hockey, or martial arts. 

# 8. Resolve Problems With Dry Mouth

Dry mouth occurs when there is reduced saliva production, which can occur due to various factors, including certain medications, medical conditions, and aging. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by helping to wash away food particles, neutralize acids, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. 

Without sufficient saliva, the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss increases. It is essential to discuss any concerns about dry mouth with your dentist to identify the underlying cause and explore potential solutions. 

# 9. Limit Acidic/Citrus Foods And Drinks

Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and certain carbonated drinks, cause tooth enamel loss over time. This erosion weakens the protective outer layer of your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay, sensitivity, and ultimately tooth loss.

# 10. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Eventually, the bristles of your toothbrush become worn, frayed, and less effective in removing plaque and debris from your teeth and gums. Using an old toothbrush can lead to inadequate cleaning, contributing to tooth decay, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles appear frayed or splayed.

Take Steps To Protect Your Teeth Today

An older man smiling while taking to the dentist about limiting tooth loss.

Whether you are in your thirties or seventies, these preventive measures will equip you with the knowledge to preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime. You can also count on Absolute Dental in Las Vegas and Reno to help ensure a radiant smile and optimal oral health.

Sources:

How to Brush Teeth Correctly.

Tooth Loss in Adults (Age 20 to 64). (2022).

What Is the Right Way to Floss? (2022).

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About the Author

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Dr. Joan Landron

Currently serving the community at Absolute Dental since August 2008, Dr. Joan Landron graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1997.

She further honed her skills with a general practice residency at Metropolitan Hospital and underwent specialized training at New York University’s Implant Program for General Practitioners. Specializing in services such as X-rays, examinations, cleanings, crowns, and more, Dr. Landron brings a comprehensive approach to general and cosmetic dentistry, including implants.

A proud member of the American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association, and Southern Nevada Dental Association, she cherishes her free time by spending moments with family, reading, and maintaining her health through exercise. Dr. Landron takes immense pride in being a part of the Absolute Dental team and is dedicated to her patients at the Absolute Dental – Nellis in Las Vegas, ensuring they receive the best care possible.

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