A condition known as periodontal disease, which is characterized by receding gums, crooked teeth, and degradation of the jawbone, is the leading cause of tooth loss in older persons. Plaque accumulates in the shallow trough between the tooth and the gum, which is where the infection begins.
However, it is periodontal disease, not aging, that is the most prevalent cause of tooth loss among the elderly. Periodontal disease is a progressive illness that gradually destroys the supporting tissues in the mouth, often resulting in tooth loss.
Keep Teeth in Top Shape
When it comes to adults, periodontal disease is the most prevalent cause of tooth loss. Generally speaking, since the early 1970s, the prevalence of both moderate and severe periodontal disease in adults and seniors has declined significantly.
Periodontitis (per-e-o-don-TIE-tis), commonly known as gum disease, is a dangerous gum infection that affects soft tissue and, if left untreated, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis is caused by a bacterial infection in the gums. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen or even result in tooth loss if left untreated.
Seniors over the age of 65 have an average of 18.90 teeth left in their mouths. A higher proportion of teeth are missing among black seniors, current smokers, people with lower incomes, and people with less education.
Eight or fewer teeth are present in one-quarter (26 percent) of persons over the age of 65. Adults over the age of 65 who have lost all of their teeth account for around one in every six (17 percent). Total tooth loss among adults 65 and older has decreased by more than 30 percent since 1999–2004, when it was 27 percent. This has decreased to 17 percent in 2011–2016.
With age, the enamel on the teeth begins to wear away, leaving the teeth more prone to injury and decay. It is believed that tooth loss is the primary reason behind elderly people’s inability to chew properly and hence their inability to take adequate nutrition.