What Causes Tooth Loss?
By William Stofer on June 24, 2016
Adult tooth loss is not only devastating to oral health; it can severely impact your self-esteem and confidence. For those who already suffer from tooth loss, there is hope. Restorative dentistry treatments are available to replace missing teeth, repair dental damage, and restore oral health. To find out which treatments are right for you and to learn more about the causes of tooth loss, schedule a consultation with Warsaw, IN dentists William B. Stofer and Jason D. Hemphill.
The Causes of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss has many causes, many of which are preventable. Understanding the causes of tooth loss can help you take steps to protect the health and beauty of your smile. Some of the causes of tooth loss include:
- Gum disease: Gum disease results bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Although it may seem minor, gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss if left untreated. As gum disease progresses, gaps, commonly referred to as “pockets,” develop between the gums and the teeth. These pockets grow as more debris lodges between the gums and teeth, pushing the gums further and further away from the teeth. This allows bacteria and acids to reach the delicate roots of the teeth, making them vulnerable to decay. It can also loosen the gum's hold around the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay is another serious oral health issue that can lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay is caused by the acids released by bacteria. Tooth decay occurs when plaque and food remnants are left on the teeth, attracting bacteria and allowing bacterial acids to erode through the protective layers of the teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, leading to tooth loss and other oral health issues.
- Sports injury or accident: Sports-related injuries, like running into another player or getting hit with sporting equipment, can cause serious dental damage, including tooth loss. In other cases, a car accident or fall can lead to tooth loss.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Loss
You can help prevent tooth loss and protect your oral health by proactively seeking dental care and practicing proper oral hygiene habits. Follow these tips to prevent tooth loss and keep your oral health on track.
- Practice proper oral hygiene: Practicing proper oral hygiene is a great way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, two of the major causes of adult tooth loss. Brush at least twice a day for a full two minutes and floss at least once a day along each side of each tooth. For extra protection against gum disease, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
- Seek treatment at the earliest signs of a problem: Seeking treatment at the first signs of an oral health problem can allow potential issues to be treated before they become severe.
- See your dentist for regular exams and cleanings: Dental exams and cleanings should be scheduled at least once every six months to prevent plaque and tartar buildup, and allow the dentist to identify oral health issues while they are minor and easily treated.
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports: If you play sports, wearing a mouth guard can help protect your smile from sports-related injuries, including tooth loss.
Discover Your Treatment Options
A healthy smile is a beautiful smile. To find out which treatments are right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stofer or Dr. Hemphill.
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