Background on Tooth Loss

Every person who is unlucky enough to experience tooth loss will know that it’s no laughing matter; it can really have an impact on confidence levels and day to day life. Fortunately there are some dental treatments available to help people who have lost teeth due to decay or injury, such as dental implants, bridges, and acrylic dentures; which are all designed to rebuild broken smiles and replace natural teeth with something almost as good. No one wants to think about losing their teeth, but it could help to learn about the main causes of tooth loss and how to do your best to avoid it, as well as how to stop problems from developing again in the future.

What causes tooth loss?

The very first tooth loss human beings experience is a perfectly natural process that is not normally very painful or traumatic; this is when the milk teeth fall out to make room for the permanent adult teeth. Of course, this occurrence is very different to losing teeth through decay or some type of injury and should not be something that you or your children worry about unduly, it doesn’t require any kind of treatment with dental restorations. However, if a child suffers trauma before their milk teeth fall out, this can affect the position and structure of the adult teeth as they erupt through the damaged sockets.

The medical term for missing teeth is edentulism, and decay is a primary cause of this in the UK, among adults and children alike. Tooth decay is the result of poor oral hygiene and bad diet in most cases, and as it takes hold the affected teeth become so unhealthy that they need to be extracted or eventually fall out of the mouth on their own. Decay – sometimes called dental caries – is a term which described rotten minerals within the structure of the teeth, which begin as cavities – small holes – and develop until the central pulp chamber becomes exposed to outside elements. It’s not incredibly difficult to take care of your teeth but you may be surprised how many people lose numerous teeth because they just don’t know – or care – how to look after them and prevent decay.

Trauma is another fairly common cause of tooth loss, one which is not completely avoidable, unfortunately; no one can predict when or where an accident will happen, and a knock or blow to the face can certainly do some damage to a person’s teeth. Of course, if the injuries are severe, dental condition probably won’t be at the top of the list for immediate treatment, but badly damaged teeth may have to be removed if there is no hope of saving them. Most dentists will attempt to reattach teeth that have been knocked out or twisted in the socket, however, when the supporting ligaments have been broken there is not much chance that they will heal in time to keep the tooth alive, so the only alternative is try and restore it to a functional level. Teeth that have shattered or broken apart in the socket often have to be removed because it’s very difficult to repair fragments while they are still sitting in the tissue – especially if the pulp has become infected. The good news is that acrylic dentures can be used to replace the missing tooth, using the weight and position of the surrounding teeth to hold a synthetic crown in place over the empty socket; appliances like this probably won’t be fitted immediately after the trauma has occurred, but once the gums have healed sufficiently it shouldn’t present too much of a problem.

Gum disease is also a frequent culprit where tooth loss is concerned, and the main issue with this type of condition is that it is not always easy to spot until the condition has reached a difficult stage. Gum disease – or periodontitis, as it is called when it becomes more aggressive – begins with painless symptoms such as slight bleeding after brushing and some red areas along the gum line, and can progress to a more painful level as the gums start to pull away from the roots of the teeth. When the roots have been exposed to infection and food debris, they become seriously compromised and may have to be removed. In a lot of cases, gum disease goes hand in hand with decay, and these two ailments together present a very big problem that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. If the bacterial infection is not properly treated at an early stage, it will travel down the roots and begin to attack the supporting alveolar bone, which makes the teeth unstable and very painful; if they are not pulled out before this point, they will certainly fall out on their own anyway.

How can I avoid tooth loss?

The easiest way to avoid losing your teeth to gum disease or decay is to brush them twice a day and floss regularly; you don’t even have to use an expensive electric toothbrush if you can’t afford it, simple manual brushes have been working perfectly for decades. There are some people who will be unlucky enough to develop gum disease or decay even if they take good care of their teeth – this is due to certain harmful bacteria entering the system – but as long as they arrange treatment at the first opportunity it shouldn’t result in tooth loss.

Of course, there’s no way to protect against dental trauma one hundred per cent, but if you take part in contact sports, such as rugby or boxing, then make sure you wear a good quality mouth guard at all times; it is scientifically proven that gum shields make a huge difference in the event of facial impact, and they don’t cost a lot of money, so invest in one if you want to keep your teeth as they are.

If you are worried about tooth loss or you would like treatment for any number of dental problems, call the Pearl Dental Clinic and arrange an appointment today; the best way to prevent tooth loss is to take decisive action as soon as you notice the first symptoms appearing.

How to find us?

 

5 Vale Parade, Kingston Vale

Kingston Hill, London SW15 3PS

 

Pearl Dental Clinic

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