While tooth loss is common, it doesn’t occur as frequently as it used to. That’s largely due to advancements in preventive and restorative dental health care, which have helped many patients successfully prevent or treat the most common causes behind tooth loss. Today, we examine a few of those causes, and how they lead to increased risks of losing one or more teeth if they aren’t properly prevented or dealt with promptly.
Gingivitis that leads to more severe gum disease
Of the many different potential causes of adult tooth loss, severe gum disease is the most frequent. In its severe stages, gum disease erodes the supportive periodontal tissues and bone structure that make up your dental ridge. These structures also make up the foundation of support for your healthy, natural teeth, which is why the damage can lead to the loss of one or more teeth. Despite its severe effects, gum disease begins as a relatively minor condition known as gingivitis. If you exhibit signs of gingivitis development, such as redness, swelling, and slight bleeding in your gums, then it’s important to control the condition before your risks of losing one or more teeth skyrocket.
Tooth decay that progresses far enough
Tooth decay, which causes cavities, is a more common oral health concern than gum disease, but it isn’t as frequent a cause of tooth loss. When a tooth starts to decay, the discomfort is often enough to force patients to seek treatment for it, such as with a tooth filling or root canal treatment. The reason treating tooth decay soon is important, however, involves more than just alleviating the toothache. It also stops the infection from eroding more of your tooth structure and leading to the tooth’s loss or need for extraction.
Underlying conditions that affect your bite function
There are different types of concerns that can have long-lasting impacts on your oral health, and unlike tooth decay and gum disease, not all of them are the result of oral bacteria and other preventable factors. For example, if you experience bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, then the resulting damage to your tooth structure could make your teeth weaker and more susceptible to further damage. Extreme cases of tooth damage could lead to the loss of the healthy, natural tooth structure, or the need to extract and replace the tooth to restore your bite’s proper function.
Learn how to lower your risks of tooth loss
Tooth loss is typically the result of an issue that, with proper care and maintenance, could be prevented or managed. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213.