What Causes Tooth Loss and How Can You Prevent It?
Losing a tooth as an adult or teenager can severely impact your self-esteem, causing many patients who suffer from tooth loss to feel self-conscious about their smile. Fortunately most of the underlying causes of tooth loss can be prevented with proper dental care. Restorative dentistry treatments can repair dental damage, replace missing teeth, and improve overall oral health. To learn more about the causes of tooth loss and your treatment options, schedule a consultation at our Memphis, TN practice, Southern Dental Implant Center.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
In most cases, tooth loss is a result of poor oral health. Neglecting your oral hygiene can cause serious damage to your dental health, ultimately resulting in tooth loss. In other cases, healthy teeth may be lost due to an injury or accident. Some common causes of tooth loss include:
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay is caused by acids excreted by the bacteria found in plaque. When plaque is left on the teeth, the acids released by bacteria erode the enamel and, if left untreated, tooth decay can cause dental damage, cavities, painful toothaches, and tooth loss.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that can lead to tooth loss if ignored. Gum disease begins as a bacterial infection of the gums, often characterized by bleeding when brushing and flossing. As gum disease becomes more severe, pockets may develop between the gums and the teeth, exposing the delicate structures beneath the gums to bacteria and decay.
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, and can lead to tooth loss and other oral health problems.
- Injury or accident: A tooth may be lost unexpectedly as a result of an accident or injury, like when playing football or skateboarding.
- Root trauma: Tooth loss may occur well after an accident or injury as a result of trauma sustained at the root of a tooth. Fractures or damage to the roots may not be noticed immediately after an accident, but the tooth may eventually become discolored or fall out.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Loss
When it comes to preventing tooth loss, practicing good oral hygiene habits is key. This includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once day. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, it's important to see your dentist at least every six months for a regular dental exam and cleaning. Regular dental exams help detect any signs of decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues before they become serious; cleanings prevent plaque and tartar buildup where brushing and flossing at home can miss. For those who play sports, wearing a mouth guard can help prevent sports-related injuries that cause tooth loss or root trauma.
Seek Treatment for Tooth Loss
There are many treatment options to restore missing teeth and improve oral health. To find out which treatment is right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team at Southern Dental Implant Center.