The Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss Explained

If you want to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime, it’s important to understand the common causes of tooth loss. This will allow you to take preventive action to ensure your smile stays healthy. Top reasons for tooth loss are outlined below but be sure to contact your dentist if you have any questions or concerns. They can provide personalized advice for your oral health.

If you have lost a tooth, treatment options are available. Come to see us discuss dental implants, All-On-4 restorations, and other options. Your teeth are an integral part of your overall health and should be preserved when possible, but help is available for patients experiencing tooth loss.

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss has many causes, some avoidable and some out of your control. Some of the most common reasons for tooth loss include:

  • Trauma – Trauma can dislodge it from the jaw or damage a tooth beyond repair. If you experience dental trauma, call your dentist right away. Sometimes teeth can be saved with prompt treatment.
  • Tooth Decay and Cavities – A small cavity doesn’t typically doesn’t mean the tooth must be extracted, but when small parts of decay go unchecked, bacteria can spread throughout the tooth, eventually affecting the dental pulp, roots of the tooth, and even underlying bone. This type of infection can be treated with a root canal in some cases, but not always. Severe infections may require tooth removal.
  • Gum Disease – Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. Gum disease is preventable with proper dental care and treatable once it develops. Severe periodontitis that compromises bone and causes significant tissue recession frequently creates tooth loss, however. Talk to your dentist about your options.
  • Impaction – Some teeth may be impacted and unable to fully erupt into the mouth. Wisdom teeth are commonly impacted, but canines are also affected. Early recognition of the problem and prompt treatment can mean that these teeth, or others, are extracted to make room in the smile for proper eruption.

The best way to prevent tooth loss is to see your dentist regularly. They can spot problems as they develop before they become serious. Don’t wait to go to the dentist until you have a problem. Remember, dental visits are largely preventive. If you have experienced bone loss as the result of a several dental infection or long missing teeth, our oral surgeon provides grafts and teeth replacement to meet your needs.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy to Avoid Tooth Loss

Proper dental care and healthy habits can help you to prevent many causes of tooth loss. These tips will help you keep your pearly whites healthy and strong.

  • Don’t Smoke – Patients that smoke is more likely to experience tooth loss.
  • Brush and Floss Daily – Daily brushing is a must for a healthy smile. Brush twice a day and floss once per day; these are the minimums. Your dentist may recommend a different hygiene schedule or the use of certain dental tools, depending on your needs.
  • Visit Your Dentist – Regular dental visits are important. Ask your dentist how often you should come in for routine care, which includes dental X-rays and teeth polishing.
  • Address Dental Problems – As problems arise with your oral health, get treatment as soon as possible. This can minimize the risk of tooth loss and help to preserve the bone.
  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle – Diet and overall health affect the strength of your smile. Many diseases like diabetes or osteoporosis can negatively impact oral health. Likewise, a diet that includes sticky foods that adhere to teeth and foods with added sugar can impact the health of dental enamel and increase chances for decay and gum inflammation.

Hill Country Oral Surgery is proud to provide Austin, TX with tooth extraction, dental implants, and other oral surgery services. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

 


The Effects of Tooth Loss on Your Health and Appearance

 

Losing even a single tooth can have a major impact on your health and appearance. Often the full consequence of losing a tooth isn’t realized immediately as these changes are subtle and occur over time. The good news is, with modern dental restoration, we can we can eliminate many of the negative effects of missing teeth, improving both health and appearance. Are you missing teeth? Learn how your missing teeth are impacting your life and then call our offices to learn about your options for dental restoration.

Loss of Dental Stability

Your teeth work together, supporting and helping to keep each other in place. When you lose a tooth, a hole opens up, allowing the surrounding teeth to shift and move positions. This can cause alignment issues and over time can affect how your teeth fit together and how you chew your food.

Bone Loss

Chewing is essential for good dental health. Your teeth help to maintain the strength of the bone that supports them. Chewing forces help keep the bone strong and dense. If you lose a tooth, the supporting bone slowly begins to atrophy. This can make dental implants and other restoration options more difficult in the future.

If it has been a long time since you lost a tooth, your bone has likely degenerated significantly. Often bone grafting is needed for successful dental implants.

Gum Recession

As the bone shrinks, so do the gum tissues. Your gums may become thinner and more delicate over the area where there is a missing tooth. Thinning gums are easily inflamed and injured by dentures and false teeth.

Changes to Facial Appearance

Missing teeth affect your appearance by more than just your smile. Bone and tooth loss can accelerate facial aging, changing the overall structure of your face. Changes to the appearance of the lips, chin, and nose are common after tooth loss. By some estimates, losing teeth can add up to 10 years to your appearance. Many patients don’t realize that these changes are caused by missing teeth and attribute them solely to aging.

Difficulty Eating

Are your favorite foods difficult or impossible to enjoy? Many patients that use dentures or have missing teeth struggle to eat certain foods. Don’t let missing teeth make you miss out on your favorite foods.

Lack of Nutrition

Patients that eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains generally enjoy better health. Unfortunately, missing teeth can lead to missing nutrition. Lower intakes of fruits and vegetables are common in denture wearers, often because these foods are too difficult to eat.

Poor chewing performance can also lead to difficulty digesting. When foods aren’t chewed as thoroughly, nutrition may not be adequately absorbed by the body as the food travels through the digestive tract.

Changes in Speech

Your teeth affect your speech. Patients with missing teeth often notice changes to their speech including slurring of certain words, lisping, or spitting. Missing teeth can also cause the tongue to increase in size, further affecting speech difficulties.

Impact on Confidence

We want our patients to laugh, smile, and enjoy life with confidence. When you have missing teeth, you may be embarrassed of your smile. Missing teeth have a negative impact on both appearance and self-confidence.

Minimizing the Negative Effects of Missing Teeth- What Can You Do?

In a perfect world, no one would ever lose a permanent tooth, but of course, this isn’t reality. Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons including trauma and decay. Losing a tooth is a serious problem, but it is treatable. Proper treatment can help to reduce the negative effects of missing teeth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, call our offices to learn more about your options for dental restoration.

  • Dental Implants– Functioning much like a natural tooth, a dental implant consists of a titanium screw that is implanted into the jaw and a replacement crown that is attached to the implant. Dental implants can help maintain bone strength and density and tooth positioning after a missing tooth.
  • All-On-4- For patients requiring full arch restoration, we offer All-On-4 dental implants. Four or more implants are placed into the jaw to support a full arch restoration. This can be a more affordable option for patients that require many dental implants. This isn’t the right fit for every patient.
  • Bone and Gum Grafting- Bone and gum loss are common after losing a tooth, especially if it has been an extended amount of time. Bone and gum grafting can restore bone and gum appearance and density.

Losing a tooth can have a negative impact on your health and appearance, but dental restoration can eliminate many of the problems associated with tooth loss. Call us today and learn about your options for restoring your smile and your dental health.