4 Questions About Aging and Tooth Loss Answered

Elderly with missing tooth

It seems teeth and age go together. As the body deteriorates, so do those pearly whites. The question is why. You might be wondering if aging contributes to tooth loss. If you lose your teeth, you want to know your options.

Here are some of the questions you might have:

Do the teeth become shorter when you get older?

Aging is a natural process that affects virtually all parts of the body, including the mouth and teeth. A variety of changes can occur as early as the mid-20s. The biggest impact may be the wearing of the enamel, which is the teeth’s hard coating, and the receding of the gums. The latter happens because the mouth will start to lose some bone.

Are the receding gums the reason older people lose their teeth?

While gums typically recede as the person gets older, this process isn’t the only reason you can potentially lose your teeth. In fact, some seniors can retain most of their teeth.

The main factors that cause tooth loss are the same all throughout the ages. One of these is gingivitis or the inflammation of the gums due to the presence of bacteria. When the problem gets out of control, it can damage the bones that hold the teeth, resulting in tooth loss.

Why are older people losing their teeth?

Other than having gum disease, older people are more likely to eat certain types of food that can attract more bacteria to the mouth. They also have a weaker immune system, so their ability to fight these foreign threats is reduced. Moreover, tooth loss may be a result of bad oral habits, such as smoking.

What are the options when an older person is losing teeth?

Taylor Burley Kleiman Dental and other health professionals recommend a variety of options, including dentures, in Tauranga. Depending on the case, the patient can have complete or partial dentures. It’s also possible to have immediate dentures. It means the dentist prepares the dentures before the tooth removal. This way, the patient walks off the clinic with the artificial teeth.

While older people do have options when they develop tooth loss, keeping the teeth remains to be the best choice. Taking care of them means brushing and flossing the teeth regularly, avoiding smoking, and eating healthy food, to name a few.