Archeological studies find clues to what daily human life was like thousands of years ago. Among the remains, teeth are often the most intact and easily researched parts of the ancient human bodies. The oldest known case of dentistry was recently found in northern Italy, with a molar showing signs of being cleaned with flint tools. How do we apply this finding to modern life? In addition to being amazed by the historical resourcefulness of humans (other ancient dental treatments have included beeswax fillings), it reminds us that teeth really have the power to last.
Unfortunately, our teeth don’t always have the chance to get there. Tooth loss is an ongoing problem, with the likelihood of losing a permanent structure to trauma or disease increasing with age. While loss of permanent teeth has declined in the last few decades, we’re interested in taking that statistic even lower. Read on for some tips on preserving your smile – and schedule your next dental exam to stay in touch with your state of oral health.
Avoiding Tooth Loss at Every Age
- Adolescence – When your child or teenager is young, the biggest chances of tooth loss come from accidental damage or trauma. If you’re worried about your kids’ teeth, be sure that they wear mouth guards when playing sports – and teach them to be aware tooth protection.
- Adulthood – Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. When your gums become infected, your teeth lose support, and become loose and unstable. If you are in a high risk category for periodontal disease, you’ll want to be especially vigilant – Dr. Robin may recommend that you visit the office more often.
- Seniors – Dry mouth is a common problem for seniors, as it’s a side effect of many medications and can also occur naturally over time. This creates a dangerous environment for your teeth and gums, with the mouth’s pH becoming overly basic or acidic. Be sure to stay hydrated and use a medicated mouthwash if necessary; we’ll make some product recommendations if you’re concerned.
Being aware of what your teeth are telling you (and reacting quickly) is the best course of action. If you’re ever concerned about a change, contact us right away.