How Do You Care for Gums When You Lose All of Your Teeth?
Gum health is essential even after losing all of your teeth. You will keep eating food and bacteria will grow in your mouth regardless of whether you have teeth or not.
At Smiles of Tulsa, we are committed to providing you with all of the information you need to make the best decisions about your oral health.
Missing Teeth Crisis
Missing teeth is more common than people think and the statistics are alarming. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 36 million Americans have lost all of their upper or lower teeth. Even more concerning is that recent data indicates approximately 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth.
People can lose a tooth for several reasons, including trauma, genetics, certain illnesses such as cancer, bad habits such as smoking, or poor oral hygiene habits and lack of professional cleanings. Additionally, gum disease is the main reason people lose teeth. The residue that sticks to your teeth builds up and continues to reproduce in, around, and under the gum line. This results in being at a higher risk for tooth loss due to periodontal disease. If this condition is allowed to progress without treatment, the gums eventually recede due to inflammation and teeth become loose, which results in them falling out at some point.
All of this can be avoided with regular cleanings twice per year and good oral care habits like brushing and flossing at home. However, the most critical thing you can do to prevent tooth loss is to visit our office regularly. Even when gum disease is first detected, some treatments can delay or reverse the condition preventing future tooth loss.
Gum Care After Tooth Loss
Whether you have some or all of your teeth missing, you still need to pay attention to the health of your gums. The weakening of the jawbone is natural and, in many cases, inevitable, as we age and is especially concerning if you have lost all of your teeth.
Chewing and biting stimulate the production of saliva, which is a natural cleanser that helps fight bacteria. When you lose all of your teeth, your jaw is not functioning normally, and your gums are not receiving the stimulation they need to produce saliva. Lack of stimulation will eventually lead to the complete loss of the bone.
Taking care of your gums could make you a viable candidate for dental implants, which could change your life by giving you back a beautiful smile and teeth that look like your natural ones.
After washing your mouth, you can use a clean cloth or very soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water, to wipe debris and food particles from your gums. Take the opportunity to massage them to improve blood circulation to the area. You can also use a disinfectant like salt water, which you can make at home or the store-bought kind to rinse with, after your meals to keep your mouth clean.
If you have any concerns about caring for your gums following tooth loss, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our friendly staff at Smiles of Tulsa or call (918) 891-3059. We are here to help.