Tooth loss is a preventable occurrence in most cases, yet this condition still affects millions of people across the United States each year. When you realize the impact your choices have on your oral health, you can fully understand that your oral health is up to you. The following are the top causes of tooth loss and how you can do your part to ensure that tooth loss does not happen to you.
- Poor oral hygiene – Your teeth are meant to be cleaned on a regular basis. Flossing daily and brushing at least twice a day are imperative for keeping your smile healthy. Most people will brush their teeth at least once a day, but the majority of people admit that they do not floss regularly, if at all. If you are not practicing proper oral hygiene on a daily basis, you are creating an environment inside your mouth for cavities to develop at a very fast rate. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance within the human body, and it is designed to withstand a great deal. However, without proper care, bacteria-laden plaque will begin to destroy your teeth and lead to loss.
- Cavities – Cavities occur when the teeth are not cleaned well enough and dental plaque starts to build up. Dental plaque is filled with acid-producing bacteria that eat their way through the tooth enamel causing holes, or cavities. If a cavity is not treated within a proper timeframe, the damage can progress so that the cavity reaches the root of the tooth. Not only is this extremely painful, but it will also cause the tooth to become loose and eventually fall out.
- Gum disease – Gum disease occurs when dental plaque is allowed to remain and buildup at the gum line. This, again, goes back to the damaging bacteria that make up dental plaque. Gum disease directly affects the gum tissues at first, but over time the damage becomes much more severe. Severe gum disease can cause the bone and ligaments that support your teeth to weaken, and the teeth will become loose and fall out. Once gum disease reaches a severe state, its affects are irreversible.
- Tobacco use – Smoking and any use of tobacco puts you at a greater risk for tooth loss. Tobacco users are more likely to have bacterial plaque buildup that leads to the aforementioned issues. Tobacco use also inhibits your mouth’s immunity, making it harder to fight off infection.
At Group Health Dental, we encourage you to avoid the causes of tooth loss by making the healthiest choices for your smile. With a little effort, your smile can last a lifetime.