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Permanent Tooth Loss: How To Keep It From Happening To You
December 7, 2021
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senior woman smiling outside her house

The thought of losing a tooth probably isn’t one you think of often unless your dentist has uttered the words “gum disease” to you during a routine dental exam. However, gum disease isn’t the only risk factor to watch for when aiming to prevent tooth loss. By being proactive with preventative dentistry, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy enough to prevent tooth loss for life.

Dental Dilemmas That Can Cause Tooth Loss

The top cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease. Being proactive by ensuring you’re preventing gum disease gives your mouth a much more likely chance of keeping your teeth and preventing other problems that can accompany periodontitis.

The top offenders that lead to tooth loss are:

Periodontal Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is not only the cause of tooth loss, but it’s the primary reason people over the age of 35 lose their teeth.

Cavities

If left untreated, small cavities can grow into a significant problem in a small amount of time. Having cavities filled while small is cost-effective and will help you keep your natural teeth without them cracking or breaking from excessive decay.

Gingivitis

The first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, can typically be reversed at home with excellent, consistent brushing and flossing. Prevent gingivitis with proper oral hygiene habits.

Broken Crowns

A crown is placed on a tooth that has already been damaged extensively. A broken crown or bridge will leave the tooth underneath unprotected and vulnerable to even more damage.

Bruxism

Grinding your teeth has significant consequences, even though it only seems like a bad habit. Clenching your jaw and long-term grinding damage your enamel and jaw joints and can lead to gum recession, exposed tooth roots, and eventually tooth loss.

Skipping Dental Exams. 

Regular dental exams are the simplest way to keep your teeth in excellent condition. Spotting problems early and before they can progress is the easiest and most cost-effective way of preventing significant issues. Don’t skip dental exams thinking you’re avoiding issues.

Gum Disease is the Top Cause of Tooth Loss

When it comes to periodontal disease, there are two phases. Gingivitis (stage one) causes pain, bleeding, swollen gums. Periodontitis (stage two) is the advanced stage that leads to broken down gum tissue and loss of teeth.

Plaque is a naturally occurring substance in the mouth, so it can’t be prevented entirely. However, it’s possible to reduce its presence with proper oral hygiene. Bad habits that can make plaque harder to manage include:

  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Other tobacco use
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Stress
  • Low nutrient diets
  • A weakened immune system caused by diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS

Take care of your smile and keep gingivitis and periodontitis at bay. Properly brushing, flossing, and regularly scheduling visits with your dentist for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year will keep your teeth in great shape.

Know the Periodontal Disease Risk Factors That Could Impact Your Health

Front teeth are more likely to be lost because of gum disease than teeth at the back of the mouth. While factors like your age and sex can’t be helped, other factors like brushing your teeth and smoking are up to you.

Dental experts have created the list of the top nine risk factors for tooth loss due to periodontal disease, and the list includes:

  • Being older than 35
  • Being male
  • Never getting professional dental care
  • Never use a toothbrush to clean your teeth and mouth
  • Smoking (either current or in the past)
  • Having diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having rheumatoid arthritis

How to Make Healthy Gums a Priority

Just because you don’t see your gums doesn’t mean they aren’t a big part of your life and your overall health. Not only is gum health tentatively linked to whole-body health, but gum disease can be debilitating and disfiguring. If you need help learning more about what you can do to keep your entire mouth in excellent health, ask Hinsdale Dentistry at your next dental checkup. Scheduling cleanings and exams every six months is a significant first step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy!