It is a widely accepted fact that here are biological and hereditary risk factors for tooth loss, which encourages some to believe that the onset of gum disease and tooth decay simply cannot be prevented in the long term. With age, sex and predetermined medical conditions all factors that can influence tooth loss, it is all too easy to presume that implementing a program of prevention is an exercise in futility. A recent report in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that this may be a misconception, however, with a number of lesser known risk factors enabling patients to assume far greater control of their dental health.
The Magic Number: Nine Risk Factors for Tooth Loss
The report lists nine individual risk factors for tooth loss, but in fact only three of these are linked to age, sex or nature. The rest can be either exacerbated or negated through human behavior, which means that avoiding long term tooth loss sits firmly within your control:
- Being Older Than 35
- Being Male
- The Fact That Front (Anterior) Teeth are More Likely to be Lost to Gum Disease than Those at the Back of the Mouth.
- Failing to Use a Toothbrush
- Failing to Obtain Professional Dental Care
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having rheumatoid arthritis
If you discount the first three items listed, then you are left with a series of risk factors that patients can control by taking responsibility for maintaining their oral health with an dentist in Austin. To begin with, it is important to refrain from smoking either as a serious habit or a recreational past time, so that any damage that your teeth may have incurred already can be minimized. In addition to this, making the simple commitment to regularly brush your teeth and attend scheduled dental appointments can also help to reduce the risk of tooth loss, while allowing for the early identification of potential oral health issues.
Assuming Responsibility for your Oral and General Health
With the final three listed risk factors in mind, it becomes clear that our oral and general health are inextricably linked. This has already been supported by numerous international studies, which suggest that periodontal disease can be influential in causing potentially fatal heart disease. Similarly, those who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis are also at risk of incurring tooth loss, so patients must commit to a stringent health regime that protects both physical and oral well being.
Even if you feel as though you have reached the point of no return with your oral health, you still have ample opportunity to rectify the situation. This is thanks largely to the development of dental implants, which can create a healthy, snow white smile while also supporting the structure of the lower portion of your face. Now increasingly accessible and affordable, dental implants offer a solution for anyone who has neglected their oral health and have subsequently suffered from significant tooth loss.
If you have regrets about your dental care, or want to start making regular dental visits, book an appointment with Dr. Dan Matthews today!