The most frequent causes of tooth loss are gum disease and cavities.
There is an old saying, maybe you have heard it. "Only brush the teeth you want to keep!" That is good advice, but it's only part of the story. Can you guess what the rest of the story is?
Half of adults 30 years of age and older suffer from some form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hormonal changes, certain diseases such as diabetes, smoking, family history and poor oral hygiene are all leading causes of gum disease. Untreated gum disease often leads to tooth loss. Bleeding, red, swollen or tender gums are not normal. And while pain is usually not present in early stages of gum disease, there are other tell-tale signs including bad breath that won’t go away, loose teeth, a change in your bite and even pus between your teeth. If you have any concerns about your gums or teeth, it is important that you talk to your dentist.
If cavities aren't treated, they grow larger and penetrate deeper into the layers of your teeth. Untreated cavities can cause severe toothaches, infection and eventual tooth loss. Early signs of cavities
include increased tooth sensitivity and often a light or dark brown spot on the tooth. Often times however, x-rays are needed to find developing cavities behind the visible outer layer of your teeth.
The Rest of the Story
Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are important factors in preventing gum disease and tooth loss. Gingivitis, which is often the precursor to gum disease, can be treated and reversed with good oral hygiene.
Brushing at least twice a day, daily flossing and regular visits to your dentist will go a long way towards preventing cavities and gum disease.
So let’s all change that old saying to a brand new one, "Always brush and floss, and keep your teeth!"