Causes of Tooth Loss and How to Deal with Them

tooth loss

It’s easy to overlook teeth and take them for granted, but they play a vital role in your overall health and wellbeing. Brushing and flossing can significantly reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. However, other factors can also lead to tooth loss, such as injury, lifestyle choices, and genetics. By understanding the common causes of tooth loss, you can be better prepared to deal with the problem if it arises. If you know you are at risk for tooth loss, it’s important to take steps to protect your teeth. Here are common causes and how to deal with them:

Poor Dental Hygiene

Poor dental hygiene is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. Without proper dental practices, plaque and bacteria can build up on your teeth and gums, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. If left untreated, these conditions can progress until the teeth are lost. Here are common dental issues that come from poor dental hygiene:

Cavities

Cavities are caused by dental plaque and bacteria that infect the teeth and gums. Plaque build-up comes from sugary and starchy foods that are not removed by proper brushing. The bacteria in plaque then produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Moreover, cavities can also be caused by consuming acidic foods and not getting enough fluoride. Likewise, cavities appear as small holes in the teeth and can cause severe pain if left untreated.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums, which can progress to affect the bone and tissues that support the teeth. It is caused by bacteria that remain on your the teeth and gums. Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, bleeding gums, bad breath, and toothache. These are often caused by plaque and tartar build-up, smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, stress, or certain medications.

To prevent tooth loss, it is important to practice good dental hygiene habits every day. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups.

External Causes

Even if you practice proper dental care, external causes can lead to tooth loss if you’re not careful. These could include:

Trauma

Various types of trauma can occur to the jaw, leading to tooth loss. Most common situations include sports-related injuries, getting hit, and accidents. For example, getting elbowed in the face while playing basketball could loosen and damage your teeth. If you get into a fistfight and are punched in the mouth, it could crack or chip your teeth. If you got into an accident and hit your jaw, it could also damage your teeth. In these instances, you must get immediate medical attention for all injuries sustained.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is a major risk factor for tooth loss. It can cause gum disease, plaque build-up, and cavities, which can lead to tooth loss. Tobacco use also dries out the mouth, leading to a decrease in saliva production. Saliva is important for keeping the teeth and gums healthy, as it helps to wash away food particles and bacteria. When saliva production decreases, tooth decay and gum disease risk increase.

Person smoking

Use of Certain Medications

Certain medications can cause various dental problems that, if left unchecked, can lead to tooth loss. For example, medicines containing estrogen can make you vulnerable to gum disease. Suppose you are taking any medications that could cause dental problems. In that case, it is important to be vigilant about practicing good oral hygiene habits or taking other measures to counter these effects. For instance, you can use saliva substitutes if your medicine makes your mouth dry. It is important to be aware of any medication side effects and how to deal with them to better care for your overall health.

Dental Care

Teeth are necessary for chewing food and play a role in speech. If you are missing several teeth, you may find it difficult to eat or speak properly. It can also cause your remaining teeth to shift out of position, leading to further dental problems. That’s why it’s essential to restore them as soon as possible. You can get a full mouth dental implant procedure that will completely restore your smile and return your optimal teeth functions. Doing so will also improve your oral health and appearance and help you feel more confident.

Maintaining oral hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent tooth loss. Knowing how to keep your teeth healthy and strong will help you avoid any dental issues and situations that can lead to tooth loss.

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