As we age many factors contribute to our overall health. Taking care of our teeth by brushing, flossing and routine checkups are the easiest ways to maintain a lifetime of healthy smiles!
So, why do we lose teeth during our lifetime? The answer is rather simple.
Losing Baby Teeth
During childhood, we grow our first set of teeth commonly referred to as “baby teeth.” Dentists actually call these our “Deciduous” or “Primary” teeth. Typically, the growth and loss of these teeth follow a specific timeline.
Primary teeth provide the foundation for our adult teeth. By helping to develop the oral cavity and creating the space necessary to guide our permanent teeth into place, baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth to follow.
The root area of a baby tooth allows the permanent tooth a place to grow and easily pass through the gums. As the body grows, the jaw increases in size creating space and causing the primary teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
Teeth in Adulthood
As adults, the lifestyle choices we make ultimately determine the health of our teeth, not old age. Different factors contribute to poor teeth and can result in their loss over time.
- Excessive wear – grinding/clenching, using your teeth as a bottle opener, etc
- Illness – Diabetes, cancer, etc
- Periodontitis – Gum disease, the #1 cause in adult tooth loss
- Loss of bone mass – A contributor to periodontal disease
- Xerostomia(dry mouth) – Lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva protects teeth from harmful bacteria and acids that cause plaque and tartar buildup and lead to cavities
The life of your teeth are mostly affected by poor hygiene and prevention of tooth loss can be as simple as proper home care and regular checkups with your dentist. Remember to brush and floss daily. The recommendation is to brush for 2 minutes 2 times per day, especially at night.
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