Missing teeth are a major oral health concern. When you lose a tooth, the
gum tissue in that area becomes more vulnerable to infection and injury,
and the remaining healthy teeth may shift, causing a chain reaction of
dental health issues that can include further tooth loss. Your dentist
can address missing teeth using dentures or
same day dental implants, but what can you do to prevent tooth loss in the first place? Talk to
your dentist in St. Louis about your risk, and consider these common causes
of tooth loss.
Periodontal disease—or gum disease—is the most common cause of tooth loss. It
occurs when bacteria form plaque along the gum line, triggering inflammation
and infection. In its early stages, gum disease causes bleeding and tenderness,
but when left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Even if periodontal
disease doesn't cause your teeth to fall out, your dentist may determine
that they have been damaged beyond repair and that they need to be extracted.
Periodontal disease is treatable, but it's far easier to manage in
its early stages, so see your dentist right away if you experience symptoms.
Sometimes, tooth loss occurs very suddenly as the result of an injury.
While you can't completely prevent injury to your teeth, you can lessen
your risk by wearing a mouth guard when you play contact sports. After
a blow to the mouth, an injury that could lead to tooth loss may not be
immediately apparent. Sometimes, a root fracture can occur without any
signs or symptoms, and then only become a problem years later when an
infection settles in. Let your dentist know if you have recently suffered
a mouth injury so he or she can check for hidden damage.
Tooth decay can be relatively easy to treat with a filling if you see your
dentist as soon as symptoms appear. However, when tooth decay isn't
treated, the associated cavity can become so large that tooth extraction
is the only solution. Decay can also cause infections in the jaw that
may weaken the bone and result in tooth loss.