Common Causes of Tooth Loss
Written by: Dr. Clifford Melnick, DMD
A smile is one of the first physical attributes that we notice when meeting someone. It can affect relationships with coworkers, managers, friends, and significant others. Here at Fifth Avenue Periodontics, our Manhattan cosmetic dentists and staff share a common goal: helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. Our team of dentists offers our patients the most advanced dentistry treatments that are available today.
While tooth loss isn’t the most widespread dental issue in the United States, it is definitely more common than most people think. Knowing the causes of tooth loss could help prevent the dental problems that lead to tooth loss. In this blog post, we discuss the most common causes of tooth loss.
Poor Oral Hygiene
A person’s overall oral hygiene plays an important role in tooth loss prevention. Good oral hygiene practices at home, paired with routine visits to the dentist for professional examinations and cleanings, reduces the risk of developing the serious dental problems that result in tooth loss, including gum disease and cavities.
When not treated in its early stages, gum disease can severely damage the gums and teeth; eventually it can lead to tooth loss. The most common cause of gum disease is insufficient dental care, but the condition can also be caused by the use of tobacco products, genetics, hormonal changes (such as those that result from puberty and pregnancy), stress, bruxism, and certain medical problems. In the early stage of gingivitis, patients experience symptoms such as red, swollen gums that bleed easily and bad breath. These symptoms get worse as gum disease progresses to its advanced stages, and additional symptoms present themselves, such as the gums detaching from the teeth and the teeth becoming loose.
When a cavity starts to forms, decay eats away at the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. As the cavity gets worse, it reaches the dentin layer of the tooth. At this point, a cavity can be treated with a filling or a dental crown. If the cavity is not treated, the infection will reach the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. At this point, the tooth requires root canal therapy to be saved. If the infection continues to spread in the pulp of the tooth, the tooth will fall out or need to be extracted.
Smoking has a detrimental affect on a person’s overall health, including their oral health. Not only do cigarettes discolor teeth, cause bad breath, and esophageal diseases, but smoking has been linked to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. We recommend that our patients discontinue the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products to improve their health.
Some patients lose one or more of their teeth as a result of trauma or injury. This can be the result of a fall, car accident, or assault. If the impact is strong enough, the tooth can become dislodged at the root. Athletes that participate in contact sports are often advised to wear mouth guards to prevent dental trauma.
No matter the cause, tooth loss can be a very sensitive issue for patients. At Fifth Avenue Periodontics, our Manhattan dental implant experts offer several tooth replacement options. If you or someone you know has lost one or more of their teeth, please contact our office as soon as possible; we will be happy to set you up with a consultation.