Protect Your Smile from the Causes of Tooth Loss

Protect Your Smile from the Causes of Tooth Loss By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on May 26, 2016

Adult tooth loss can occur for a number of reasons. Although healthy teeth may be lost due to an injury or accident, most adult tooth loss occurs as a result of oral health issues that could easily be prevented. Fortunately, restorative dentistry treatments can repair damaged smiles and boost confidence with natural looking and feeling dental restorations. For more information about the causes of tooth loss and to discover your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Jackson, MS dentist Danny O'Keefe. In the meantime, read on to learn more about some of the most common causes of tooth loss and how you can prevent it.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious condition that can lead to tooth decay, gum recession, and tooth loss if left untreated. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar. As periodontal disease progress from the early stages of gum bleeding and inflammation, infection may spread from the gums to the underlying structures supporting the teeth, ultimately causing tooth loss.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay occurs when plaque and food remnants are left on the teeth and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. The acids from the bacteria found in plaque and the foods we eat and drink can erode the protective layers of the teeth, eventually reaching the nerve and pulp tissues within the teeth. When these tissues become infected, known as a root canal infection, the tooth may not be able to survive and may fall out or require extraction.

Overall Poor Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is important for our gums and teeth. Poor oral hygiene, like not properly brushing or flossing everyday, can allow oral health problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay, to progress, often leading to tooth loss.

Accident or Injury

An accident or injury can cause a tooth to fall out instantly or it can lead to internal damage. Internal damage sustained to the roots of the teeth can cause a tooth to fall out months after the injury happened.

What Can You Do to Prevent Tooth Loss?

Tooth loss can be devastating to your oral health and self-confidence. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent tooth loss, including:

  • Brush at least twice a day: Brushing the teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, is a great way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
  • Floss everyday: Flossing the teeth daily is essential for oral health because it helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line and between the teeth, where brushing alone can't reach.
  • Limit foods high in sugar and acid: Sugary, acidic foods and drinks increase the risk of tooth erosion and decay. Limit your intake of sugary, acidic foods and drinks to protect the smile and prevent tooth loss.
  • See your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups: Schedule a dental exam and cleaning every six months to catch oral health problems as early as possible and to make sure your teeth are clean and healthy.
  • Wear a mouth guard when playing sports: Protect yourself from sports-related dental injuries by wearing a mouth guard while playing sports.

Which Treatments Are Right for You?

To learn more about preventing tooth loss and to find out which treatments are right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. O'Keefe today.