Try as you might to protect your oral health and maintain a beautiful smile, sometimes there’s not much you can do to avoid tooth damage or even tooth loss.
Good oral hygiene and annual or bi-annual dental checkups and cleanings can go a long way to protecting your teeth. However, factors like genetics, age, and even accidents can come into play and leave you with a dental health problem. Most of the time, the key is to address these issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
If you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your teeth safe and healthy, take a look at the most common causes of tooth loss and tooth damage. No, you can’t necessarily prevent all of these things from happening, but you can try!
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. When the infection becomes significant enough, bone and gum loss occur, leading to loosening of the teeth and eventually tooth loss. Fortunately, this leading cause of tooth loss in adults is fairly preventable.
Periodontal disease becomes more common the older you get, and some people have a genetic predisposition. Nonetheless, there’s a lot you can do to try to prevent it.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning twice a year will significantly decrease your odds of getting gum disease.
If you catch a developing infection before it has a chance to become periodontitis, you can reverse it. However, once it has advanced enough, it can only be treated, not cured.
Tooth decay is another major contributor to tooth loss, and it’s entirely preventable if you take the appropriate measures.
Over time, tooth enamel gets worn down by acids in the mouth, leading to a bacterial infection that can eventually decay and destroy your tooth beyond repair.
To avoid tooth decay, maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine and see your dentist every six months. You’ll also want to limit the number of sugary snacks and drinks you consume regularly.
Sugar interacts with bacteria in your mouth to create the acids that wear away tooth enamel and causes cavities. You can still enjoy sweets occasionally, but don’t overdo it, and try to brush soon afterward.
Certain Medical Conditions
If you have any medical conditions that weaken your immune system, such as diabetes, you are at an increased risk for periodontitis. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Arthritis and hypertension can lead to periodontitis and, as a result, tooth loss.
While you can’t always avoid these medical conditions, some other health factors contribute to tooth loss, and most of these are in your control. For example, poor general nutrition can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. So can the use of tobacco products.
If you can avoid tobacco and try to maintain a healthy diet, you’re off to a great start.
Physical injury is another common reason for damaged or lost teeth. Those who play contact sports have a much higher chance of losing a tooth due to injury than the average person, especially if they don’t wear a mouthguard.
Protecting yourself from these injuries is possible. However, accidents happen, and they are often unpredictable.
Remember that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a high-impact accident that causes dental trauma, either. You might just bite down on something hard at just the right angle and wind up with a broken tooth. Next time you’re eating or chewing on anything hard, keep this in mind. Contact our office today.