Sometimes accidents happen that result in tooth loss, but other times tooth loss is avoidable and within the patient’s control. A recent study in the Journal of Periodontology revealed that there are major risk factors associated with tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease. While patients can’t control certain risk factors such as genetics, there are other elements patients can address to prevent tooth loss.
Risk factors associated with tooth loss
According to the study performed by researchers for the Journal of Periodontology, the risk factors for tooth loss from periodontal disease are:
- Lack of professional dental care
- Lack of brushing teeth
- Smoking or other tobacco use
- High blood pressure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Male gender
- Older than 35
An additional finding was that a patient’s front teeth have a higher risk of loss to gum disease than teeth located in the back of the mouth. Although risk factors such as gender and age can’t be changed, factors such as not brushing and continued tobacco use are completely under a patient’s control.
Origin of the study
The list of risk factors originates from a dentist in Kuwait and his colleagues who work for the Ministry of Health. Although the study is from Kuwait, the cases of tooth loss due to gum disease have strong similarities to studies globally and therefore have worldwide application. The study involved 1,775 adults who had undergone tooth extraction at a random selection of 21 dental practice clinics in Kuwait. The total of teeth removed equaled 3,694 because 14 of the selected patients had all of their teeth removed.
Breaking down the statistics
The leading reason for tooth loss in the world is gum disease and when you factor in the other statistics of the study, it becomes even more important to practice good oral hygiene. In the study, 40% of the patients had never received professional dental care, 13% had only received it 6 months prior to tooth extraction, 60% said they never or rarely brushed their teeth and only 16% said they brushed their teeth twice a day. Along with poor oral hygiene, several of the study participants had other health issues including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. While there’s still no conclusive evidence that these health issues have a direct connection with tooth loss, it’s a common trait that requires further research.
Although there are various options for tooth replacement today, the best plan is to preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime if possible. Creative Dental can help you protect and improve your smile with regular dental exams, cleanings and innovative cosmetic dentistry services.