In a leading professional journal, experts have pinpointed the possible causes of tooth loss due to gum (periodontal) disease. The information came from a recent study of thousands of men and women who had lost one or more teeth as a result of trouble with their gums.
A look at the list shows that, while there are plenty of factors we can’t control, there are others we can definitely do something about. Risk factors include:
- Being older than 35
- Being male
- Not getting timely, professional dental care
- Smoking – either now or in the past
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having rheumatoid arthritis
The experts added a 9th finding – that front (anterior) teeth were more likely to be lost to gum disease than teeth at the back of the mouth.
UNHEALTHY GUMS AND TOOTH LOSS
The list was created by researchers who observed that gum disease was the leading reason for tooth loss among the patients studied. In fact, it is one of the world’s main causes of tooth loss, the experts noted.
Men were more likely than women to have a tooth removed. Tooth loss was also more common among patients aged 35 and older.
About 3 out of 10 patients were smokers or ex-smokers. The link between smoking and tooth loss might have been stronger if more information had been available on the patients’ health habits and history, the researchers note.
Just 13% of all patients said they had seen a dental professional in the 6 months before their tooth extraction. Only 16% confirmed that they brushed their teeth at least twice a day.
DO OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS AFFECT TOOTH LOSS?
Nearly 1 in 5 patients in the tooth-loss study had Type 2 diabetes. The association between gum disease and diabetes is well-established, the researchers noted.
More than 1 in 10 patients who lost teeth suffered from high blood pressure. The study also showed a strong link between rheumatoid arthritis and tooth loss. The experts confirmed that we don’t know why these conditions may contribute to dental problems, simply noting that their findings showed an association between the two.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU’VE LOST A TOOTH?
If you’re doing everything you can to take great care of your teeth and gums, congratulations! Maintaining a healthy smile is one of the greatest gifts you can possibly give yourself.
But with all your efforts, you may still undergo a tooth extraction sometime in your life. And when that happens, Dr. Farole is ready to help by placing dental implants to restore your original teeth.
Implants are fast becoming the gold standard in dental restoration. Implants offer you these benefits:
- They are permanent – and with proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
- They are anchored to the bone, so they are more secure than bridgework or standard dentures.
- They are made to look exactly like your existing individual teeth, so they do a great job of bringing your smile back to its original look.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS FROM DR. FAROLE
Dr. Anthony Farole is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon serving thousands of patients in Bala Cynwyd and the Greater Philadelphia area. If you’re wondering about dental implants as a way to improve your oral health and restore your smile, he is happy to meet with you. Give us a call today to schedule a personalized consultation.