Do I Need To Worry About Tooth Loss?
Tooth Loss — Causes and Treatments
When it comes to dental emergencies, tooth loss is one of the most painful yet common experiences that you could go through. In fact, according to a study done by the American College of Prosthodontists, over 178 million US citizens are missing at least one tooth. And keep in mind that, unlike a toothache, tooth loss can lead to dire consequences.
However, as a result of years of medical advancements, there are a lot of solutions for handling tooth loss. Not only you can prevent it, but you can also replace any lost teeth. Even so, it’s important to understand everything about tooth loss before you can actually try to prevent it.
The Causes of Tooth Loss
Although accidents are one of the most well-known causes of tooth loss, there are other things that can lead to it. And while some are more common than others, knowing all of them is important in order to protect yourself.
- Accidents: Accidents are one of the most common causes of tooth loss. They are also one of the most painful ways to lose teeth. And if the bone is damaged, you will have a much harder time replacing the lost tooth.
- Tooth Decay: Bad oral hygiene will lead to tooth decay, which will eventually cause the affected tooth to fall out. Besides that, tobacco and high-sugar foods can also trigger tooth decay.
- Genetics: Some people are more likely to lose their teeth than others. For instance, genetic diseases such as type two diabetes can cause tooth loss.
- Harmful Behaviour: Habits such as teeth grinding wear teeth down, making them weaker. Eventually, some of your teeth will be so weak that they will keep falling out.
Is Tooth Loss Dangerous?
Generally speaking, tooth loss is not extremely harmful and shouldn’t put your life in danger. However, there are a few instances in which tooth loss can lead to health issues and conditions.
- Oral Infections: The loss of teeth can lead to oral infections and additional problems. That’s because without your tooth the gap is prone to bacteria. If left untreated, that area will become a cesspool of infections, which can then affect the rest of your body.
- Chronic Headaches: Frequent tooth loss can change our biting pattern ever so slightly. That can cause headaches, migraines, and similar problems.
- Bone Loss: Since the supporting bone that used to hold your tooth is no longer needed, it slowly deteriorates. And since your teeth lean on each other, when one is missing, the others shift. As a result, you can expect even more tooth loss unless you fill out that gap.
What Can I Do About Tooth Loss?
The most important thing to understand is that tooth loss may point toward bigger health issues. Because of that, you should go to an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to find the cause of your problem but also suggest specific tooth loss treatment.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots, made out of titanium or similar materials. They are used as a support for crowns, bridges, or dentures depending on what the doctor is planning to do. And while the process of getting implants is complex, the replacement tooth is easily fitted onto the implant using a screw-like system.
Overall, if you are looking for the most durable and good-looking tooth replacement, implants are the best treatment you can go for. They emulate the feeling of a natural tooth while lasting longer than similar options. However, keep in mind that not everybody can get implants, as they require enough bone to be able to hold the support.
Dentures are removable plates or frames, holding one or more artificial teeth. They are often made out of acrylic, nylon or metal, and can be used to replace one or even all your teeth. When it comes to durability, it all depends on the material. For instance, metal is the most durable option, while acrylic looks much better.
Even though dentures can protect your gum, they can’t prevent bone loss, since they don’t put pressure on the bone to keep it from deteriorating. As a result, most emergency dental care centers recommend patients get monthly X-rays in order to keep an eye on their bone loss.
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place by the teeth on either side of the gap. Because of that, you can only get a bridge if there are enough teeth for it to be placed upon. And while bridges are great for covering your gum, they can damage the healthy teeth used as its support. Additionally, food particles could get underneath the bridge, meaning that you have to pay extra attention when brushing your teeth.
Tooth Loss Prevention Tips
Although tooth loss is much easier to treat than it ever was, it’s always better to prevent it from happening in the first place. As such, the following tips will help you maintain healthy oral hygiene in order to prevent tooth loss.
- Avoid Tobacco: As we mentioned, tobacco can cause tooth decay which will lead to tooth loss. You should reduce the amount of tobacco you consume, even by a little.
- Avoid Alcohol: Similarly to tobacco, alcohol will accelerate tooth decay and can even cause receding gum lines.
- Regular Dentist Checks: You should visit your dentist at least once every six months in order to check your teeth. Dentists are able to identify signs of tooth decay and will give you advice on how to better protect your teeth.
- Eat Wisely: Avoid sugary foods as they are the main cause of tooth decay. Additionally, aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to increase the durability of your teeth.
- Brush Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth twice a day is a must if you want to prevent tooth loss. You should also use floss daily to remove small pieces of food or plaque formations.
All in all, while tooth loss is not always dangerous, it should still warrant a dentist visit. Just remember that the longer you avoid replacing your teeth, the more likely you are to develop more dental problems. Combine that with poor dental hygiene and you will end up with a dental emergency on your hands. So don’t waste any more time and look for emergency dental services as soon as you experience tooth loss.