Here’s a fact that’s a little tough to swallow: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans over the age of 65 have no teeth.
A person with no teeth experiences a host of health problems, not to mention the feeling of a loss of dignity. “Oral health and overall health is a two-way street,” says Denis Kinane, PhD, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. “If you have poor oral health, it can make chronic conditions, such as diabetes, worse. And if you have a health problem like diabetes or heart disease, that can impact your teeth and gums.”
But losing your teeth doesn’t necessarily have to be something that is guaranteed with age.
Here are a few tips for safeguarding your teeth against falling out:
1. Vitamin C is critical. Studies have shown that adults who consume less than 60mg per day of vitamin C have a 25% higher chance of contracting gum disease, which is the major cause of tooth loss.
2. Drink more tea. Black and green teas contain antioxidants that help prevent plaque from forming on your teeth. Tea leaves are also a natural source of fluoride, which acts as a protective barrier on your teeth.
3. Avoid cotton mouth. A mouth that is not producing adequate amounts of saliva can more easily contract the gum disease gingivitis. Be careful when choosing medicines, as many produce the side effect of dry mouth.
4. Exercise. Studies have shown that those who regularly exercise experience improved dental health and are less likely to experience severe periodontal disease.
5. Quit smoking. Smoking is a major hindrance to quality oral health. Not only does smoking increase your risk of a host of dental issues, but the habit also hinders many treatments.
6. Eat more omega-3. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to assist in the healing of gum tissue. Try to eat as much omega-3 – laden foods as possible, such as salmon, mackerel, and other fish.
7. Keep up with your cleanings. Make sure that you are visiting us regularly here at Montgomery Dentistry. Professional cleanings throughout the year are so important to maintaining your dental health.
Here at Montgomery Dentistry, we take the whole you into consideration. Oral health leads to overall health leads to confidence leads to peace of mind. We love seeing our clients healthy and happy.
“Header photo” by: Partha S. Sahana
Photo Credit: Partha S. Sahana