Common causes of tooth loss and solutions
Losing a tooth can affect your self-confidence and your ability to chew, speak, and smile as you used to. In this post, we’ll cover five common causes of tooth loss and give you some ideas for how you can protect your teeth.
If you have lost one or more teeth, don’t worry. Several options for semi-permanent and permanent tooth replacement procedures are available.
Poor oral hygiene
Tooth decay is a primary factor that leads to tooth loss. Cavities usually form from a combination of consuming too many sugary foods and irregular brushing and flossing. Left untreated, the decay can expand into the root of your tooth. Sometimes a tooth can be saved with endodontics (root canal) but when decay is too severe, an extraction may be necessary.
Just like the rest of your body, taking care of your teeth is the best way to avoid tooth loss. Brushing and flossing daily is key, along with regularly visiting your dentist or hygienist for a checkup and professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. If you do get a cavity, get it filled immediately to prevent any further decay.
Also caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease can infect the tissue and bone surrounding your tooth. This infection can loosen your tooth or potentially cause a situation where extraction is required to fight off the infection. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen or tender for more than a few days, be sure to see your dentist.
Giving up smoking or other tobacco use is a great way to protect your teeth and improve your oral hygiene. Smoking doubles your risk of gum disease and prevents your immune system from working properly.
Patients who suffer from teeth grinding should seek treatment as grinding can wear away your enamel and lead to more serious dental concerns. Wearing a tooth guard at night can protect your teeth from damage. Finding ways to lower stress and anxiety can also help.
Accidents happen. While some facial traumas are harder to predict, such as a car accident or slipping on the ice, others are easier to protect against. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports or taking part in other higher risk activities such as skiing or skating.
The most common tooth replacement options are:
- A dental bridge
- Dental implants
A dental bridge requires healthy teeth to be available on both sides of the missing tooth. The neighboring teeth are prepared to receive crowns and to ‘bridge’ the missing area with a false tooth. A bridge may fail if one, or both, of the neighboring teeth are compromised.
Dental implants are an excellent way to replace teeth. They do not require neighboring teeth to be altered as dental bridges do. Implants are a common treatment for teeth replacement. They look and function similarly to your natural teeth and can often last for a lifetime.