How to Prevent and Treat One of the Most Severe Dental Problems: Tooth Loss
One of the most severe dental problems you can face is tooth loss. And it's critical to remember all of your teeth are important -- not just the front ones. There are many ways to prevent tooth loss effectively, and your local Gentle Dental office is here to help.
Causes of Tooth Loss:
Some common causes of tooth loss you should look out for include:
- Gum Disease: Periodontal disease, or gum disease, starts from plaque build-up on the teeth. If left untreated, bone loss, receding gums, and tooth loss from the active bacterial infection can happen. If you notice inflammation, bleeding gums, or feel discomfort, you may need to see a periodontist. Schedule a free consultation today to meet with a gum specialist and about treatment options for gum disease.
- Injuries: Accidents can happen, for example, in sports or around the house, and tooth loss can occur as a result. It’s important to avoid some common causes of tooth loss, like removing caps with your teeth, chewing on popcorn kernels, and eating hard candy.
- Cavities: When a cavity, decay, or injured tooth is left untreated, decay can spread into deeper levels of the tooth, and the next treatment may be a root canal treatment or extractions. It is important to get dental fillings before the area gets too large to fill.
- Teeth Clenching and Grinding: Clenching and grinding are major contributors to tooth loss due to fractured teeth. Wearing a night guard can control this habit and mitigate the causes of tooth loss.
Prevention of Tooth Loss:
It is important you do not put off dental work, as it only gets worse with time. Prevention is key to keeping your smile healthy. Gentle Dental dentists say, “Tooth loss is a serious dental problem that can be prevented by seeing your dentist at a minimum of two times per year and fixing problems when they are small. You can also prevent further tooth loss by replacing any teeth that you have lost with dental implant restorations.”
Tips for Preventive Dental Care:
- Brushing and flossing: Brush your teeth with anti-cavity fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Rinse your mouth twice a day with a fluoride mouthwash.
- Routine dental visits: Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a comprehensive preventive exam. If you have existing oral issues, the dentist may recommend more frequent visits.
- Use a mouthguard: You may want to consider using a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night, clench your jaw, or play contact sports.
- Eating well: Eat a well-balanced diet and limit foods that are hard on the teeth and filled with sugar. Limit dark beverages that stain teeth, like soda and wine.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products: Smoking and using oral tobacco products lead to oral cancers and other dental issues. It’s best to create a plan to quit.
Tooth Loss Treatment:
If you experience tooth loss for any reason, here are some treatment options. At Gentle Dental, our doctors and specialists are experts at restorative dental care, and can design a treatment plan just for you.
- Dental implants: Dental implants are a good choice for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. At Gentle Dental, our doctors and specialists are experts at restorative dental care, including dental implants, and can design a treatment plan just for you.
- Bridges: A dental bridge is a non-removable appliance used to replace missing teeth. While there are several types of bridges, the traditional bridge is usually made of ceramic fused to metal. These are very popular because they resemble your natural teeth.
- Dentures: Dentures are a removable dental appliance that helps replace missing teeth and surrounding tissue. It is made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. There are two types of dentures – a complete full set and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth; it prevents other teeth from shifting.
Our doctors and dental specialists provide a wide range of dental services at our 40+ multi-specialty dental offices across Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Our dental team is compassionate, and our main goal is to provide you a comfortable, caring dental experience. Book an appointment at your local Gentle Dental today.