Many adults fear the possibility of losing a permanent tooth. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to prevent permanent tooth loss. Knowing the risk factors and what you can do to prevent this problem can help you keep your own teeth throughout your adult life.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
Brush your teeth at least twice each day — once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. When brushing your teeth, spend about two minutes total, gently brushing your teeth in small circular motions with the toothbrush.
If you notice problems like blood on the toothbrush, this could be a sign of gum disease. Make an appointment with your dentist to have the problem inspected.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking can affect healthy tissues in the mouth in negative ways. Smoking can slow the healing process if your mouth is damaged. Smoking also reduces the effectiveness of your immune system, which can, in turn, lead to gum disease and infections. All of this can impact the health of your teeth and may lead to tooth loss.
If you have a smoking habit, seek help from a healthcare provider to help you get past your addiction. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a nicotine patch or may be able to recommend a support group that can help you quit smoking.
3. See the Doctor
Some conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, increase your risk for tooth loss. These conditions must be diagnosed and managed with help from a healthcare provider. See your doctor regularly to help you identify these conditions. Follow treatment recommendations to improve your health and reduce your risk for tooth loss.
4. Know the Risk Factors for Tooth Loss
Sometimes hormone changes and even some medications can be a risk factor for permanent tooth loss. Osteoporosis can contribute to permanent tooth loss, and even pregnancy can contribute to loosening of the teeth.
If you are at risk for tooth loss because you have one of the above conditions, alert your dentist. Once your dentist is aware, they can help protect you from potential permanent tooth loss.
5. Know the Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a common cause of tooth loss. Knowing the signs of gum disease can help you seek treatment if this problem occurs to you. Some of the signs include:
- Bleeding while brushing
- Red, inflamed gums
- Sores in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Halitosis (bad breath)
If you are experiencing the signs of gum disease, contact your dentist to get an expert opinion.
6. Wear Fitted Mouth Guards When Playing Contact Sports
If you play a high-impact sport like hockey, wear fitted mouth guards to protect your teeth at practice and at official games. Once a tooth is knocked loose because of an impact to your head, reversing the damage may be impossible.
7. Eat Right
Eat foods that improve bone strength and bone density. Foods high in calcium and vitamin K are both good for strengthening the bones.
Dairy products like milk and cheese are high in calcium, while broccoli, yellow peppers, and chili peppers are all high in vitamin K. Eat a well-rounded diet and consume lots of vegetables to get the vitamins and minerals your teeth need to stay strong.
8. Become More Health-Conscious as You Age
Age is one of the risk factors of tooth loss. People over 35 are more likely to lose their teeth than adults who are younger than 35. As you get older, you’re also more likely to develop other risk factors that contribute to tooth loss, like osteoporosis and diabetes.
You can protect yourself from this problem by becoming more health-conscious in older age. Take dietary supplements if your doctor recommends it. See your doctor regularly, and get exercise. Take care of your body to help you avoid the problems that can lead to tooth loss later in life.
9. See the Dentist Regularly
It is recommended that some people see the dentist once per year, others are recommended to see the dentist twice per year. Whichever your dentist recommends to you, see the dentist regularly to stay on top of your dental health.
Your dentist can identify problems that could put your teeth at risk, and will also be able to remove plaque and keep your teeth clean. This will help you get the most out of your teeth and will prevent problems like gum disease, which could lead to tooth loss.
Contact Your Dentist to Protect Your Teeth
A permanent tooth can be expensive to replace. See your dentist regularly to prevent problems. For more information about how you can protect your teeth, contact one of the experts at Valley Oak Dental Group. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you more information.