Missing teeth is never a favorable outcome. Not only does a gapped smile look unattractive, but missing teeth can also put your oral health at risk. Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but there are factors that threaten this promise. The leading causes of tooth loss in the United States are gum disease, tooth decay and accidental trauma. Here is a closer look at each cause so you can understand how to protect yourself from missing teeth:
#1 Gum Disease
Your gums represent the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place. Therefore, gum disease poses a major threat to your teeth’s main support system. More than half of Americans are living with gum disease. Untreated gum disease that has advanced into serious periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss, and your risk increases as you age.
#2 Tooth Decay
Cavities are areas of decay in your teeth. If you do not get it treated (such as with a dental filling), the decay will progressively damage your tooth structure until an extraction is needed. Proper oral hygiene, fluoride, avoiding excess sugar and seeing your dentist for six-month checkups can guard against tooth decay.
#3 Accidental Tooth Loss
Accidents happen. Although you may be a five-star brusher and flosser, it is difficult to protect your smile from accidental injury or trauma. A car accident, fall or sports injury can instantly knock out a permanent tooth.
There are definitely steps you can take to prevent permanent tooth loss, including avoiding excess sugar in your diet, not smoking, maintaining disciplined oral hygiene habits and seeing your dentist every six months. Those involved in sports should also consider wearing a mouth guard to protect against mouth trauma. However, if you are already suffering from one or more missing teeth, talk to you dentist about tooth replacement. Dr. Wayne Suway offers top quality dental implants, the best solution for patients who want replacement teeth that look, feel and function most like natural teeth. You can still have a more healthy and attractive smile after tooth loss.