How Long Do Teeth Last? Answers From the Sacramento Dentistry Group

Dental patients often wonder how long their teeth will last. From a durability aspect, teeth are one of the hardest parts of the human body. They are also subject to a harsh environment, filled with acid-producing bacteria and subject to great stresses. Here is advice on making teeth last a lifetime.

It’s a sad fact that many young people simply do not think about how long their teeth will last. When they become mature adults, suddenly the health of their teeth becomes a little more important, as reflected in a recent question to the website of the Sacramento Dentistry Group. How long do human teeth last?

Teeth are Built to Last!

If it is considered that archaeologists have unearthed teeth from Homo sapiens that are thousands of years old, it becomes obvious that tooth enamel is built to last. The challenge is to get the tooth to stay in the mouth. There are three things that form the key to winning this lifetime accomplishment.

Start Oral Hygiene at a Young Age

Permanent teeth come in at a very early age, starting at six or seven years with the molars. If a child is already brushing their teeth twice daily and using dental floss, they are applying the habits that will keep those teeth clean and healthy for a lifetime. Regular visits to a dentist monitor the growth of teeth, their healthy alignment, and prevent the development of gum disease from calculus and the creation of cavities from enamel damage.

Protect the Enamel

Enamel is made of a mineral matrix that principally consists of phosphorus and calcium. This matrix restores itself from molecules in the saliva, if it is protected from constant damage. There are three typical sources of enamel damage. One is the acid produced by oral bacteria while they consume the sugars in our food. Brushing the teeth removes these bacteria. Likewise, acid in foods, like sour candies and sodas, also softens and destroys enamel. Finally, chewing things like ice and pencils or wearing oral piercings all can lead to cracked enamel, and that compromises the tooth.

Protect the Gums

Cavities and serious infections can be repaired with fillings and endodontics, but gum disease destroys the very thing that holds the root of every tooth — the jawbone. Irregular oral hygiene and failing to see the dentist for regular cleanings are the primary causes of gum disease. If left unbothered by brushing and flossing, oral bacteria work their way beneath the gums, irritating the tissues and leading to inflammation. As the inflammation causes the gums to loosen their grip on the tooth, the bacteria work their way deeper below the gumline, damaging the jawbone until the root eventually loosens and the tooth falls out.

If the enamel is protected and the gums secured with good eating habits and oral hygiene, then it truly is possible to keep teeth for a lifetime. The Sacramento Dentistry Group knows of many elderly patients with a full mouth of original teeth. For help keeping all of the teeth, just like these happy clients, their dentists can be contacted at or by calling 916-538-6900.

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group