You only get one set of adult teeth and you want to make sure they last a lifetime. Tooth and gum health can deteriorate over time, and that can lead to tooth loss.
By taking a proactive approach to your oral health, you can often extend the life of your teeth, and avoid the difficulties that come with tooth loss.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
There are many causes of tooth loss, and many of them are avoidable. Understanding the causes of tooth loss can go a long way in helping you to know how to prevent it.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Your gums are an important part of the structure and foundation that nourish and support your teeth. Without strong gums, teeth become unhealthy.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Luckily, gingivitis can be reversed with diligent care and a dedicated oral hygiene regimen.
Cavities can worsen over time. Even small cavities can grow or become infected, requiring more extensive treatment. And because a cavity is a loss of tooth structure, it can weaken your tooth and eventually lead to tooth loss. Similarly, a severe infection can lead us to recommend a tooth extraction.
Not Replacing a Broken Crown
A crown (or bridge) is a cap that protects an extensively damaged tooth. When a crown breaks or is lost, the tooth is exposed and vulnerable. This can result in even more damage, and in some cases, a new crown will not be enough to save the tooth.
Tooth grinding or jaw clenching can be worse for your teeth than it sounds. Over time the friction caused by grinding can damage tooth enamel as well as your jaw. This can lead to gum recession, exposed tooth roots, loosened teeth, tooth decay, and eventually tooth loss.
Traumatic injury can cause a tooth to be “knocked out.” Sometimes, it can be recovered and saved, but other times it cannot. Injury can also lead to tooth loss later on if not treated properly.
Tooth Loss Prevention Tips
The good news is that tooth loss is often preventable.
Don’t Skip Dental Exams
Routine dental visits are the simplest way to protect your teeth. Your dentist can spot problems early on, before they progress. This is the easiest and more cost-effective way to prevent serious dental issues that lead to tooth loss.
Good Oral Hygiene
Brush twice daily and floss regularly; it will go a long way to protect you from gum disease and tooth loss. Use a soft-bristled brush and focus on angling it towards your gums. Change out your toothbrush regularly.
In addition to regular brushing and dental visits, consider the following lifestyle changes that can help stave off many causes of tooth loss.
- Quit smoking and tobacco products
- Eat a healthy diet
- Avoid excess alcohol
- Talk to your dentist about options to prevent tooth grinding, such as night guard
- Manage other health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and acid reflux with proper treatment
- Wear a mouthguard or helmet when playing sports or engaging in any activities that can create a danger of head or face injury
- Choosing a dental implant to replace missing teeth
Already Have Tooth Loss?
If you already have experienced tooth loss, there are many options available to you. One possibility is a dental implant. Dental implants might not only be your best option to replace a lost tooth, but they can preserve your jaw structure and even prevent additional tooth loss.
If you want to learn more about this innovative tooth loss treatment or want to prevent tooth loss before it happens, schedule an appointment today!