We know that losing one or several teeth can be alarming. Although adult teeth are meant to be permanent, there are many ways to lose a tooth. It’s important to understand the causes of tooth loss so you can keep your mouth healthy and prevent further problems.
At Choices in Dentistry, we frequently hear questions about tooth loss — how to prevent it, why missing teeth should be replaced, and treatments for missing teeth. In this post, we’ll go over the fundamentals of tooth loss so you can have all the information you need to take the best care of your oral health!
If you have any questions or need help replacing missing teeth, our dentists can help. Call us at (312) 964–8809.
How common is tooth loss?
You might be surprised to learn that tooth loss is much more common than most people think. In fact, 69% of adults aged 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. Also, 26% of adults aged 65 to 74 have lost all of their teeth!
Although losing one or more teeth affects people’s health and confidence, many don’t replace their missing teeth. What they don’t realize is that replacing them helps prevent further tooth loss (as well as other issues).
Tooth loss can lead to various problems
If you have lost one or several teeth, you may be at risk for a variety of issues. The loss of one or more teeth can cause:
Crooked teeth. If you do not treat tooth loss, your remaining teeth will shift to fill the gap left by the absent tooth. As the remaining teeth begin to move, they can appear crooked.
Difficulty chewing food. Crooked teeth can lead to bite problems, which may make eating more difficult.
Speech problems. If your jaw and teeth are not aligned correctly, it may be more difficult for you to speak clearly.
Losing more teeth. When you don’t replace missing teeth, your jaw bone becomes weaker, which can lead to even more tooth loss.
Altered appearance. Your smile will look different without all your teeth, which can have a significant impact on your confidence and self-esteem. Also, if your jaw bone loses density, it can alter the overall appearance of your face.
What causes tooth loss?
There are various causes of tooth loss, including severe tooth decay and trauma caused by accidents or sports. However, the main cause of tooth loss is periodontitis (AKA gum disease).
This condition happens when plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth and gums. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to gum recession, tooth loosening, and weakening of the supporting bone structure under your teeth, which ultimately causes tooth loss.
At Choices in Dentistry, we’ve helped many patients treat gum disease and prevent tooth loss thanks to our integrative gum disease treatments. If you’d like to learn more about these and other treatments, our team is here to address all your questions. Call (312) 964–8809.
Many factors can contribute to tooth loss
Some factors that may increase your risk of tooth loss include:
-Not taking proper care of your teeth at home (brushing twice and flossing at least once a day)
-Failing to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups
-Being over 35
-Previous tooth loss
-Suffering from diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
You can replace missing teeth to avoid further damage
If you are missing one or more teeth there are plenty of options to replace them, including dentures and bridges. However, dental implants are often the best solution for missing teeth.
Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and act as roots for artificial teeth. Crowns act as “substitute teeth” that are placed on the top of the implant, allowing you to restore the function and appearance of your mouth — and prevent further tooth loss.
This treatment can be used to replace one or more teeth, and it’s so effective that the results can last for several decades. Often, implants are considered the best way to replace missing teeth due to their strength and longevity.
Preventing tooth loss is possible
Although many people believe that tooth loss is an inevitable part of life, it is entirely avoidable. There are several things you can do to prevent tooth loss. Brushing and flossing daily is a great way to prevent cavities and gum disease, reducing the risk of losing any teeth. In addition, wearing a mouthguard while engaged in contact sports will help protect your teeth from getting fractured or knocked out.
If you visit your dentist regularly (at least twice per year), they will be able to identify and treat any small problems before they become serious. Also, dental cleanings will allow you to get rid of stubborn plaque, which prevents gum infections and tooth decay.
If you are concerned about missing one or more teeth, don’t worry. Tooth loss can be treated using a variety of treatments that can allow you to eat, speak, and smile comfortably.
The best you can do, whether you’ve lost any teeth or not, is to prevent further tooth loss. Brush and floss regularly, visit the dentist consistently for checkups and cleanings, and wear a protective mouthguard in case you perform any sports.
If you want to learn more about how to take care of your teeth or are interested in getting treatment for tooth loss, at Choices in Dentistry we’d be glad to assist you. Call today at (312) 964–8809 or book an appointment online.