Tooth loss is not a natural part of aging

Tooth loss and decay are often associated with aging and the elderly tend to have more tooth loss and decay than the rest of the population. This doesn’t mean that there is a causal connection between poor teeth and age. Tooth loss and decay are the effects of poor habits over a long period of time. For instance, if you eat a cup of sugar every day for 20 years without experiencing any conspicuous effects, you may think nothing is wrong. Just because you don’t see the effects doesn’t mean they’re not there.

For this reason, tooth decay is more common in the elderly even though tooth decay is not caused by old age. Our enamel is tough, so it takes many years of bad oral hygiene and eating habits to affect our teeth. Eventually, enamel does wear away or become brittle, making it easy for decay to take over. In addition, many medications that elderly people take cause saliva production to be much less than in people of other age groups.

This delayed response should be of no surprise to anyone. Our body works this way in response to many external stimuli. Eating an ice cream cone doesn’t make you fat right away, just like going to the gym once doesn’t make you healthy right away. Our body, like our character, is the result of what we consistently do.
Of course, sugary diets and a lackluster effort at oral hygiene are the main causes of tooth decay, but other factors can contribute as well. A struggling immune system, increased systemic diseases, and prescription medications can negatively affect the body’s ability to naturally fight decay. We need healthy gums to have healthy teeth!