If you have lost one or more teeth, you may notice a major impact on your smile. You can feel self-conscious about gaps between remaining teeth and struggle with performing your usual oral functions.
You can also suffer from further deterioration of your oral health if you do not seek tooth replacement treatment from your dentist. But what causes tooth loss, and are there methods you can enact to preserve your smile? Read on to learn about three ways that you could lose a tooth as well as how to avoid this concern.
Advanced Gum Disease
The leading cause of tooth loss in adults comes from issues in the gums. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue. The early stages of this condition can leave patients with swelling and bleeding in the gums.
However, as this infection spreads, it can reach the tooth root and the jawbone. Bacteria will eat away at this part of your mouth and cause a tooth to fall out. This type of damage cannot be reversed.
If you suspect you have gum disease, let your dentist know right away. You can protect your dental structure if you get prompt treatment for this infection. It is easier to get rid of when diagnosed in its early stages.
Severe Tooth Decay
A majority of people have gotten a cavity in their tooth before. Your dentist treats this early form of tooth decay by drilling away the damaged part of the tooth and sealing the area with a dental filling.
If you skip your regular dental appointments, then you might have an undiagnosed cavity. This decay will worsen over time, eating away at the enamel of your teeth until it reaches the vulnerable interior of your tooth. If it progresses deep enough, the tooth can dislodge.
Good oral hygiene can get rid of plaque before it can hurt your tooth enamel. This will lower your risk of cavities and preserve your oral health. Routine teeth cleanings from your dentist should also be part of your oral hygiene regimen for optimal preventative dental care.
In healthy dental patients, teeth sit securely in their sockets, able to withstand regular wear and tear without issue. However, accidents can happen in which high impacts or pressure can injure a tooth.
If you suffer a blow to the mouth or jaw or bite into a hard item, a tooth might become loose or fall out. In these instances, you might be able to have your dentist replace the tooth in its socket.
Call your dentist as soon as you can in the event of this dental emergency. They will likely ask you to come to their office.
If possible, place the dislodged tooth back in its socket in the meantime. Or you can place the tooth in a container and keep it soaked with saliva. This will preserve the tooth and make it more likely for your dentist to reattach it.