The consequences of bad oral habits can become dire after a while. Tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease are the first issues but if they do not get treated, it can lead to tooth loss.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your teeth. Besides being vital to chewing and eating, it is also important for a beautiful smile and speech. Even if you are scared of the dentist or going for treatment, it is no reason to abandon your pearly whites.
The fact is, 26% of people lose all their permanent teeth by the age of 74. There are many risks or causes of tooth loss and it can happen to you so long as you are not caring properly for your teeth.
Consequences of Tooth Loss
The teeth are an integral part of your jaw. They make sure that the bone tissues and gums are stable and without them, you will see far-reaching consequences. Even the loss of one tooth will lead to the ones beside them to move. The spaces between the teeth will grow and the jaw loses its stability and strength.
Eventually, the gums and bones will degrade and cause gingival recessions, which will also increase the chances of losing even more teeth. Because your jaw bone’s density gets compromised as well, you cannot simply go for dental implants to replace missing teeth. You will also eventually see the shape of your face changing.
Lastly, lost teeth can have psychological effects as well. People with missing teeth become self-conscious about their smile and affected speech. You may also find eating your favorite foods difficult because of chewing problems.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
The most obvious is the lack of good oral habits leading to cavities that lead to the breakdown of tooth enamel. Eventually, the bacteria and the acids they produce will attack the pulp and lead to the dental crown falling apart.
The second most common reason is gum disease. Both the early and the advanced stages can contribute to this higher risk of tooth loss, as the bacteria burrow under pockets in the spaces between teeth and gums.
Some people may also be genetically predisposed to cavities and periodontal disease. Some people have lower immune systems, produce less saliva (which helps prevent cavities), have thicker gums or teeth that are less resistant to tooth loss.
Habits such as bruxism (tooth grinding) can breakdown the bones and teeth, speeding up the process.
Naturally, certain behaviors can increase the risk of tooth loss, like smoking or chewing tobacco. But even a simple thing as not having good oral habits or not flossing can eventually lead to cavities and tooth loss.
Lastly, some other health conditions may be linked to tooth decay and gum disease that lead to tooth loss. For example, diabetes aggravates gingivitis.
What To Do When You Have Loose Teeth
The most important thing is to not wait until you lose one or several teeth. You should regularly go to your dentist to monitor any issues that can lead to losing teeth, like cavities or gum disease. If your condition is quite advanced, your dentist can still take some steps to stop tooth loss.
- Retainer or Bite Guard
If you have the habit of tooth grinding, then you can go to your dentist for a bite guard. This will reduce the damage on your teeth.
- Scaling And Root Planing
This procedure is a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums to treat and reverse gum disease.
- Mouth Rinse Or Medication
Bacteria on the teeth need to be reduced or eliminated to prevent infection in the gums. This can be done through medication or mouth rinses.
In advanced cases of gum disease, the dentist will need to surgically remove tissue that is inflamed and damaged.
- Bone or Soft Tissue Grafts
These methods rebuilt bone that has been lost or can also stop further loss of gum tissue and teeth.
- Dental Bridge and Implant
This is a kind of crown over teeth that remain and replaces any that get lost. This means that healthy teeth do not shift and lead to further tooth loss.
These methods will help those who are at risk of tooth loss. The fact is, losing a tooth can be troubling for most people, so the best thing is to ensure any gum disease or cavities get detected and treated early. Even when a tooth is lost, there are still ways to replace them and restore a full smile.