Millions of Americans struggle with their oral health in the wake of tooth loss. If you are missing teeth, you might lack confidence in the way your smile appears. And you could struggle to complete your usual oral functions.
Your dentist can help you replace missing teeth through restorative dentistry. But ideally, you should preserve your natural dental structure.
You can protect your smile by knowing what problems could lead to tooth loss. Read on to find three dental issues that might cause you to lose one or more teeth.
3 Dental Problems That May Lead to Tooth Loss
Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease affects about half of American adults at some point in their lives. Despite its prevalence, many people do not realize this infection of the gum tissue can cause severe and irreversible harm to their smiles.
When bacteria reach the teeth and jaw, inflamed gums can progress into major dental damage. Bacteria can eat away at these parts of the mouth and cause a tooth to fall out of its socket. It is the leading cause of tooth loss.
Your dentist can get rid of gum disease with a thorough cleaning and periodontal therapy. It will require this attention from a dentist and is easier to treat when diagnosed early.
Visit your dentist for routine check-ups which will include periodontal disease screenings. Then you can resolve periodontal problems before they lead to tooth loss. For more information on how we treat and diagnose gum disease, please see Periodontal therapy.
Severe Tooth Decay
A majority of people will form a cavity in their teeth during their lifetime. This early form of tooth decay erodes a hole into the tooth that a dentist can easily treat with a dental filling. However, if you do not seek treatment for a cavity, the decay will worsen, causing major structural damage to the tooth.
If the decay worsens, your dentist will need to complete extensive dental work to save the tooth. And in some cases, the tooth cannot be restored and will fall out. Make sure you treat cavities promptly to preserve your dental health. Practice good oral hygiene to lower your risk of cavities in the first place.
Impact Trauma to the Face
Even with proper preventative dental care, an accident may occur that may cause you to lose a tooth. If you receive a blow to the face, for instance, the impact trauma may make a tooth dislodge from its socket.
In this case, your dentist might be able to secure the tooth back into your smile, but prompt action is necessary. Contact your dentist for an emergency appointment if you lose a tooth due to impact trauma.
Bring your tooth with you to this dental visit and handle it carefully, holding it by the crown when possible. If you can, put the tooth gently back into the socket to preserve it. If not, store the tooth in a container where it can be submerged in your saliva.
Your dentist can help you reattach the tooth during this urgent dental appointment. But if they cannot do this, they can work with you to find a tooth replacement treatment.