Published on March 3, 2014
The Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss This share provides a comprehensive overview of the various factors and risks that can lead to tooth loss. Being edentulous (without any teeth at all) is something we tend to associate with elderly people and while our teeth do tend to succumb to wear and decay the older we get, with the right care and maintenance, it is possible for your natural teeth to last you a lifetime.
Yes, tooth loss is something that typically happens with age. But age. what most people don’t realize is don’ that age alone is not really to blame. It’s the accumulative It’ lifelong effects of hygiene neglect, certain habits, such as smoking, or even chronic medications and genetics. There are many reasons teeth can go missing or need to be extracted. While there are dental implant techniques that can give patients new teeth in one day, nothing can really rival your own natural teeth. The Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss are: � � � � � � � � � Accidental Trauma Tooth Decay and Dental Caries Gum Disease Certain Illnesses Certain Chronic Medications Smoking and Tobacco Use Excessive Alcohol Use Drug Abuse Eating Disorders Accidental Trauma The first of the many reasons teeth can go missing is accidental trauma, which describes any physical harm or damage that is received to the face and mouth in something as serious as a car or sporting accident. It can also come from something as innocuous as biting down hard on a peach pit. Either way, if the damage is extensive and leaves the pulp chamber and/or root of the tooth exposed via a crack, chip or fracture, extraction may be required, if the tooth hasn’t been “knocked out” entirely. hasn’ out”
What can be done to avoid it? "If you play contact sports, it is essential that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums,” explains a dental implants surgeon. “Many gums,” professional boxers, football and hockey players lose one or more of their teeth during their careers as a result of getting smacked in the mouth.” mouth.” Tooth Decay and Dental Caries Perhaps the most common reason behind tooth loss is tooth decay. Your mouth is full of bacteria and the longer the time you leave between brushing and flossing your teeth, the longer these microorganisms are allowed to multiply. Bacteria feed upon the food debris and necrotic tissues that accumulate in your mouth and the wastes that they produce are high in acidity. This irritates the acidity. gums and erodes away at the dental enamel forming cavities.
What can be done to avoid it? Good oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist and professional cleanings are a must. Without preventative healthcare, tooth decay and potentially tooth loss is a certainty. Gum Disease Gum disease is an advanced oral bacterial infection of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. It is caused by a combination of factors, but most commonly by a lifelong lack of proper oral hygiene. Swollen, inflamed gums, persistent bad breath, tooth discoloration, gum recession, oral lesions and loose teeth are all common symptoms of gum disease. Without treatment, tooth loss is inevitable. inevitable. What can be done to prevent it? By practicing a good home oral hygiene routine and going for regular scheduled check-ups with your dentist, New Jersey residents can prevent oral bacterial infection and the terrible health concerns it comes hand-in-hand with. Avoiding smoking and excessive drinking are also important. Certain Illnesses Just like gum disease can aggravate or even lead to the development of certain illnesses, there are also certain illnesses that can leave you more susceptible to developing gum disease: diabetes is one of them.
Diabetes impedes your mouth’s ability mouth’ to heal and to fight off infection. “It also leaves patients more susceptible to fungal infections and a condition called xerostomia or ‘dry mouth’. Since your mouth’ saliva is your body’s natural defense body’ against bacteria, dry mouth can be a very dangerous condition and can leave your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and decay.” decay.” What can be done to prevent it? “If you have been diagnosed with any serious or chronic illness, it is important that you find out the full implications for your oral health,” explains the New health,” Jersey dentist. “By understanding the full impacts the disease, you can do what is necessary to mitigate any damage. You may also just have to accept that as, for example, a diabetic, you will have to brush more frequently, see your dentist more often and take more precautions in terms of maintaining good oral health.” health.” Certain Chronic Medications There are certain medications, especially ones taken in the long term, that can damage your teeth and leave you at a greater risk of developing gum disease. In disease. fact, as much as 40% of Americans currently take a drug (either legal or illegal) that could be damaging their teeth. What are the culprits? Aspirin, cough syrups, antihistamines and asthma medications. Some, like cough syrup, contain a lot of sugar and can contribute to a greater risk of cavity formation. Others, like aspirin, are frequently taken incorrectly and therefore do direct damage to the tooth enamel.
Smoking and Tobacco Use Smoking can cause the following: • • • • • • • Staining and discoloration of the teeth Xerostomia or “dry mouth” mouth” Impeded healing after surgery Impeded ability to fight off infection An increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease Cancer Possibly tooth loss What can be done to prevent it? “Many of the New Jersey residents we treat with All-on-4 dental implants have lost most or all of their natural teeth to habits such as smoking or tobacco use,” use,” explains a specialist. “We do recommend that patients do what they can to minimize or quit smoking altogether, especially if coming in for surgery as smoking does increase the risk of implant failure.” failure.” Excessive Alcohol Use Alcoholic beverages tend to contain a lot of sugar and/or acid, which can increase your risk of cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Excessive drinking also tends to be linked to other bad lifestyle choices and habits, such as smoking, bad eating and poor oral hygiene. Drug Abuse “The frequent use of drugs – illegal drugs – can absolutely wreck your teeth,” teeth,” warn dental healthcare professionals. � Cannabis (marijuana) carries a similar risk to tobacco-use; only its effects on saliva production are more severe.
� Ecstasy (E) causes jaw clenching and tooth grinding, which can wreck the enamel of the teeth, causing fractures, erosion and a greater risk of cavities. It also causes “dry mouth”. mouth” � Cocaine (coke, blow) is extremely acidic, which can lead to erosion of the dental enamel and the exposure of the softer underlying dentine. This makes it far easier for oral bacteria to infiltrate the tooth and infect its pulp chamber,” explains a dental implant surgeon. In addition to these serious chamber,” problems, cocaine use causes tooth grinding, jaw clenching and dry mouth. � Methamphetamine (meth, speed) causes aggressive tooth decay in an exceptionally short period of time. People who have been using meth for as little as a year can present with a condition aptly referred to as “meth mouth”, which is used to describe the devastating effects this illegal drug has mouth” on one’s oral health. one’
� Heroin (smack), as with all the other major illegal drugs, causes tooth grinding, jaw clenching and dry mouth. It also tends to cause intense sugar cravings and, coupled with poor oral hygiene, can lead to a fast deterioration of oral health. All drug habits tend to be linked with other addictions and unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, heavy drinking, a bad diet, poor oral hygiene and a lack of professional dental care. It’s not surprising then to learn that many of the It’ people who suffer from some kind of addiction need new teeth. Eating Disorders “Your teeth and gums, as with the rest of your body, rely on proper nutrition to remain strong,” explains a dental implant surgeon. “Anorexia and bulimia can strong,” cause serious dental problems because these eating disorders deny your body the nutrition it needs to fight off infection and to stay healthy. A lack of stimulation of the jawbone can also cause atrophication of the hard tissue. The purging that is characteristic of bulimia exposes the dental enamel protecting the teeth to stomach acid, which causes erosion.” erosion.” Thanks for Reading
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