Understanding the Risk Factors for Tooth Loss

Understanding the Risk Factors for Tooth Loss

Whether you’re putting it off or it seems like overkill, visiting the dentist is crucial. Twice-yearly visits keep gum disease and tooth decay the chief culprits when it comes to losing teeth in check. Here are the red flags to watch for that may lead to tooth loss.

Gum disease

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. In the early stages, the cure for gum disease can be as simple as a teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office and better oral care at home. But if left untreated, gum disease can progress to bone loss, which in turn can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease if detected early, can be treated and help you restore tooth health so you can keep your natural teeth.

Periodontitis

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Periodontal or gum disease is what we call a silent killer because you can’t see it and can progress heavily without your knowing it. Loose teeth can also mean advanced gum disease. Extensive periodontal treatment may be needed, and sometimes these teeth might have to be extracted.

Shifting teeth

Your teeth may feel firmly set in your jaw bone but they are capable of movement. This is a good thing as it allows their position to adjust to changes brought on by age and other factors. But as soon as you have a gap from a missing tooth, adjacent teeth may begin to move or drift into the space. This results in teeth being out of their normal position, which can make them harder to clean and therefore more at risk from decay and gum disease.

Cavities

You may not be aware that a cavity is forming. That’s why it’s important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings, even when your mouth feels fine. However, if you experience a toothache or mouth pain, see contact us as soon as possible. Severe pain can be a sign that decay has progressed so much that it’s attacking the nerve in the center of the tooth. Caught early, tooth decay can be treated with a simple filling, but when it’s advanced, the options are more invasive and costly.

Missing teeth

Missing teeth can affect your overall health and the health of your mouth. We tend to think about teeth as individual units, but in fact they make up a complete system. Teeth work together in harmony, and problems can occur when they don’t. People who have lost more than two or three teeth should seek some sort of prosthesis. Missing teeth can result in difficulty eating, speaking and can change the shape of your face. Bearing in mind that early replacement of lost back teeth can prevent damage to front teeth and so save you money in the long run.

In general, there’s no reason for people to lose teeth today, unless they neglect them by not brushing, flossing and regularly visiting their dentist. Fortunately, those things are in a person’s control. Advance Dental Arts recommends a semi-annual exams and professional cleanings because when the problems are small, they’re easily corrected. Call Advanced Dental Arts today 813-701-5074 for more information.

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