You may probably think that it’s only toddlers or seniors who lose their teeth. However, that’s not necessarily the case…Young and middle-aged adults can lose their teeth as well – for various reasons. When this happens the consequences can be far-reaching and even severe. If you lose one or more teeth, it may affect your smile and could impact your social life or career prospects. You may have difficulty chewing certain foods, which can affect your nutritional intake, and consequently, your general health.
It can also cause impaired speech and over time a sagging appearance of the face. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the common causes of tooth loss…
- Poor oral hygiene and gum disease: Bad oral hygiene causes acid-producing bacteria to accumulate on the surface of your teeth, resulting in plaque. This causes cavities in your teeth by demineralizing the tooth enamel. It also leads to periodontal (gum) disease, which ultimately damages and destroys supporting tissues, such as ligaments and bone. All of this will ultimately lead to loss of teeth.
- Decaying teeth: If you have cavities, it is imperative that you get it treated quickly. Not treating decaying teeth can worsen the condition over time. Progressive cavities may irritate and ultimately damage the inner pulp of your teeth. This may lead to the death of the inner pulp of your teeth as well as the possible accumulation of pus around the root of the teeth. If this is allowed to progress, your dentist may not be able to save your teeth.
- Poor nutrition: If you lack certain nutrients in your diet, it may lead to weak teeth and ultimately, loss of teeth. Calcium is one such nutrient that you need because it is responsible for the mineral density of the bone supporting your teeth. If there is a deficiency of calcium in your diet, it may lead to tooth loss. Also, diets rich in sugars, carbohydrates, and acids can damage your teeth and gums, ultimately leading to tooth loss.
- Trauma: An accident can result in tooth loss, especially if you play certain contact sports regularly without protecting your teeth. Sports such as boxing and football can result in trauma and ultimately loss of your teeth unless you wear a mouthguard regularly. Even if your tooth does not fall out due to trauma, it may cause a tooth fracture that may develop infection months or years later, possibly resulting in tooth loss.
- Tooth grinding: Habitual tooth grinding, also called bruxism, can wear down and chip your teeth. It can also cause excess force and pressure on the supporting tissues and bone, ultimately causing bone loss. Once your teeth lose the surrounding bone, they become loose and are likely to fall out.
- Irregular dental check-ups: It is imperative that you visit your dentist for a check-up every six months. If you do not, you may miss the tell-tale signs of impending tooth loss. You may not notice the accumulation of plaque below the gum line or a slight mobility of your tooth. These can be treated with regular deep cleanings, thereby helping you to save your tooth.
- Not replacing lost teeth: This can cause loss of other teeth. This is because lost teeth can result in the surrounding bone to be resorbed. This causes adjacent teeth to be displaced into the empty space, causing gum problems, and ultimate tooth loss.
- Not correcting the improper position of teeth: If you have teeth that are improperly aligned, it can be very difficult to clean them. This may cause an increase in tartar deposits leading to periodontal problems, and ultimately resulting in tooth loss.
- Drinking alcohol and smoking: According to recent research, smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. Both smoking and drinking alcohol can cause gum disease, which will ultimately lead to tooth loss.
- Serious illness: Illnesses such as diabetes can affect your teeth, as well as other organs, such as your eyes, kidneys, and heart. It can also reduce your immunity, making you more prone to infections. This applies to your gums and teeth as well. Due to reduced immunity, diabetics have increased plaque formation on their teeth. Gum disease can also happen more frequently and may take longer to heal. All of this causes loss of bone and surrounding tissue, thereby leading to tooth loss.
So, now you know the main causes of tooth loss in adults. Make sure that you consult your dentist regularly and get a professional cleaning done every six months. Your dentist will be able to detect the early symptoms of tooth loss, if any, and prevent it from progressing further.
At the Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery & Advanced Dental Implant Center, we look for the early signs of possible tooth loss in our patients and advise them as to how to take optimal care of their teeth. We treat the patient holistically and address any underlying health conditions that may affect your teeth in the immediate and distant future.
We also work with you to extract your tooth if it is broken, damaged, or infected. We can also replace your lost tooth with various tooth replacement options, such as dental implants. So, the next time you need to consult a dentist, consider visiting Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery for a complete dental check-up and advanced dental care.
For more information about preventing possible tooth loss, consult Dr. Brian Hart and Dr. Kathleen Isdith at 425-353-1009 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net for more information.