Once an individual’s permanent, or “adult” teeth come in, they are meant to last a lifetime. If a permanent tooth is lost, there is no underlying tooth waiting to fill in the gap. Unfortunately, adult tooth loss is common. Because of tooth loss, many people have to rely on restorative dentistry treatments, such as dental implants, to restore the strength, health, and function of the smile.
Dental implants are a reliable missing tooth treatment, but it is ideal for a person to keep their natural teeth. By teaching his dental patients from Skillman, NJ, Montgomery, NJ, and Princeton, NJ about the common causes of missing teeth, Dr. James Altomare hopes to provide them with insight that will promote a healthy smile for life.
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems. As bacteria build up around the teeth, they start to eat away at the outer layer of enamel that surrounds each tooth. This results in small holes or areas of decay. When holes are minor to moderate in size, they are referred to as dental cavities. Dental cavities are easily treatable and are unlikely to cause tooth loss. However, if a person neglects professional dental care, areas of decay can grow larger. Advanced decay weakens the teeth, leaves them vulnerable to infection, and can eventually cause tooth loss.
Gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss among our patients. Gum disease is a term used to describe infection of the gum tissues. Infection can cause the gums to appear red and swollen, while making them more tender and susceptible to bleeding. Like tooth decay, gum disease is fairly easy to treat in its early stages. Unfortunately, if dental care is neglected, gum disease will continue to progress. As infection worsens, the gums can recede, pulling away from the teeth. Without the support of a strong and healthy gum line, tooth loss is highly likely.
Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
Often at the foundation of both tooth decay and gum disease is poor oral hygiene habits. The teeth are regularly exposed to foods and beverages that contain sugars, acids, and starches. These are harmful to the teeth, and they attract bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, infection, and gum disease. If people are not vigilant about brushing their teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling a professional dental exam and cleaning at least twice a year, they increase the risk of dental complications that can result in missing teeth.
Even if our patients practice good oral hygiene habits, they can still lose a tooth to trauma. Oral trauma can be caused by biting down on a hard object, falling, or being involved in an accident, such as a car crash or sports injury. It is hard to prevent tooth loss stemming from oral trauma, but people can take certain precautions, such as keeping their teeth strong with good oral hygiene practices, and wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have experienced tooth loss, it is important that you undergo restorative dentistry treatment to rebuild your smile and prevent further complications. To learn about the missing teeth treatments offered by Dr. James Altomare, call (609) 921-1020 and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.