Dental Care

Edentulism, why do our elders lose their teeth?

Go losing teeth is a problem that affects the quality of life as we get older, but not only is it a problem that the elderly suffer, it can also occur in people in adulthood. The partial or total loss of teeth, known as edentulism, is a disorder that goes beyond the aesthetic issue, since it can alter the way you close your mouth or even affect when chewing.

Although this disorder has been reduced in the last decades, a proportion of affected individuals persists in societies throughout the world, characterized in a general way by the aging of the population, according to the World Dental Federation. Thus, experts predict that edentulism will affect people from all countries.

Causes of tooth loss

The loss of teeth can have a congenital or acquired cause and occur in people of both sexes. Although a causal relationship has not been demonstrated, edentulism tends to coexist with poor health conditions. The main reasons for partial or total edentulism are:

For this reason, the best way to prevent tooth loss is to have good oral hygiene, with daily brushing three times a day -for more time before bedtime- or after each meal, supplemented with the use of silk, brushes interdental and / or mouthwash. In addition to visiting the dentist in Dubai once a year, you must go to the dentist before the start of any problem.

Problems of tooth loss

In general, the loss of teeth is followed by progressive reabsorption and remodeling of the bone, the movement of the adjacent teeth with which it has fallen towards the hole that has left it and a closure -occlusion- different from the mouth, with possible malocclusion between the upper and lower teeth. The mobility of the tooth is the main indicator that there is a loss of the bone that holds the tooth and that it is a situation in which the tooth can be detached.

The remodeling of the bone to adapt to the lack of teeth goes through three phases: activation a level of the lamellar bone surface, resorption the cells responsible for the degradation, resorption and remodeling of bones (osteoclasts) adhere to the bone surface and formation – the local mesenchymal cells differentiate into osteoblasts, the organic matrix is ​​created and mineralization begins, forming bone.

All these changes can lead to alterations in speech, when chewing food and in the jaw joint, in addition to aesthetic problems, such as  premature aging of the face or greater prominence of the lower jaw over the upper jaw (pseudo prognathism), among many others, negatively affecting the self-esteem of the affected.

Related Article: Teeth Whitening At Home

More serious still supposes the relation that detected a study made public in March in American Journal of the American Heart Association: the loss of teeth and the illness of the gums can be linked with greater risk of death in postmenopausal women . The history of periodontal disease was associated with a 12 percent increased risk of death from any cause and loss of all teeth, with a 17 percent increased risk of death.

Its authors, a team of researchers from the University of Buffalo, in New York, United States, point out that these disorders – edentulism and gingivitis or periodontal disease – besides having an impact on oral function and eating habits, it is possible that are linked with chronic pathologies of aging.

In addition to impacting daily oral function and social interactions, the total loss of teeth is difficult to accept, so that dentists must also psychologically prepare patients when they have to extract a tooth, as reflected in the statement of principles of the FDI, approved in assembly in 2009.

Treatments to reduce the impact of edentulism

As medicine advances and new tools are developed , dental disorders have a wider range of treatment options and / or problem repairs:

  • Among the most used treatments to manage this pathology are dental implants to replace the fallen pieces and occupy the space that has been free, thus preventing the development of deformities. These implants need, like natural teeth, good oral hygiene. Alcohol, coffee or tobacco can be harmful.
  • Bridges : fixed dental prostheses that are used to replace one or more teeth to fill the existing gap, which are attached to natural teeth or neighboring dental implants.
  • Denture : its use can improve the general well-being and oral functions of edentulous patients. It must be borne in mind that this type of device alters or limits the dietary options of the patients, so it is possible that their nutritional intake is diminished or inferior to that of the rest of the population. Therefore, the diet must adapt to the new situation.
  • Overdentures : this is a type of denture that is anchored between two to four implants to improve its support, support, retention and stability. They provide psychosocial, structural and functional benefits.

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