Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Keep Your Teeth Well into Your Later Years

Many people may assume that losing your teeth and eventually getting dentures as you get older is just the way things are. You may have grown up around grandparents with dentures, or you see commercials promoting denture adhesives throughout your life, and you just assume that you’ll lose your teeth when you get old. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. Many people live their whole lives without losing any or only losing a few of their adult teeth.

Part of the reason it seems so many old people have dentures may be because of dental practices several years ago. It may have been cheaper and easier to simply remove decaying or damaged teeth rather than performing root canals and other more complex procedures to restore and preserve the tooth. That’s not the main cause of tooth loss, though. Periodontal disease is what primarily causes tooth loss in adults.

Even when little or no tooth decay is present, periodontitis (or disease of the gums and other tooth support structures) can be causing damage below the gum line. Bacteria can eventually destroy the gums and bone tissue that are vital to keeping teeth healthy and firmly in place. As bone loss occurs, teeth become loose and can eventually fall out.

For these reasons, it’s every bit as important to care for the health of your gums as it is to make sure your teeth are free of decay. Arizona Periodontal Group (or another qualified periodontist in your area) can assess the health of your gums and let you know if any steps need to be taken to restore and maintain periodontal health. Using a variety of procedures, including periodontist laser treatment, a skilled periodontist can eliminate infections in the gums and even recontour the gum line in cases of gum recession.

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