As a child, losing a tooth may be exciting as it indicates that adulthood is approaching. However, when you lose a permanent tooth as an adult, it is likely to have you worried.
Tooth loss may be caused by poor oral hygiene, bad eating habits, accidents, or harmful behaviors acquired over time. With advancements in dental technology, there are now several remedies available to compensate for a lost tooth, such as dental implants, dentures, and bridges.
Causes of Tooth Loss
Here are some of the leading causes of tooth loss:
Bad Eating Habits
Foods containing a high amount of carbohydrates or sugar are bound to be harmful to your teeth. They tend to stay on your teeth for a longer period of time, allowing bacteria to gradually feed on them. The acids created by the bacteria can destroy the tooth enamel and then eventually penetrate deeper into your tooth to loosen it.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once daily. Failing to take care of your teeth may cause a thin film of plaque to form over your teeth, which may eventually harden into tartar. Bacteria that emerge from plaque and tartar eventually weaken your tooth structure and jawbone, resulting in tooth loss.
Accidents, fights, falls, and sports injuries can also result in tooth loss. Most of the time, these incidents only result in a chipped or damaged tooth. However, if the accident is severe, a tooth may completely loosen up. The best way to prevent tooth loss in this case is to take preventive measures, such as wearing a seatbelt while driving or wearing a mouth guard while playing contact sports.
Tooth Loss Treatments
Advanced prosthetic dentistry has now made it convenient to fill your empty tooth sockets and enable you to chew, speak and smile confidently again. Here are the top treatments for tooth loss:
A dental implant is a screw-like titanium post that is inserted into an empty tooth socket and allowed to fuse with your jawbone. It serves as a robust foundation for an artificial tooth as the jawbone naturally tends to grow around the implant. Once the implant is ready, an abutment is placed over it so that a crown can be fixed atop.
Bridges are a set of artificial teeth fixed onto a metal frame. They are a good option when more than one tooth is missing. The crowns holding the bridge are secured to your teeth on each side of the empty tooth sockets. Once a bridge is fixed, it is permanent. Bridges may also contain artificial teeth, depending on your situation.
Dentures are a set of replacement teeth fixed atop a plastic base that is designed to look similar to your gum tissue. Partial dentures fill in the missing tooth sockets and prevent your natural teeth from shifting, if you have some remaining. In case you have lost all of your original teeth, full or complete dentures may be a better option.
No matter what the cause of tooth loss is, modern dentistry is likely to have a solution to it in the form of dental implants, bridges, dentures and other treatment procedures. If you have a chipped tooth, or have lost one completely, schedule an appointment with us at Davis Dental Practice by calling us at (530) 756-5300 today.