Nowadays, thanks to all the advancements in dental care, missing teeth are not as common as they were back in the day. However, this does not mean that tooth loss is not happening to people. Both young and old are affected by this – often from poor dental care, illnesses, injury or lifestyle choices. The statistics don’t lie and some studies show that up to 74% of adults in the UK have had at least one tooth removed. Obviously then it is important to look at how one can avoid tooth loss.
Causes of Tooth Loss
One of the main reasons why teeth could decay and fall out is from poor oral hygiene. Cavities and gum disease result from the lack of a good oral hygiene routine. It starts with a plaque build-up on the surface of the teeth which results from a lack of proper cleaning. Our teeth are made of enamel and the plaque destroys the top layer on the teeth, causing cavities.
Another serious reason for tooth loss could be the result of having gum disease. Plaque is a bigger problem than what some people think – it can be the root cause for gum disease as well. The early symptoms of this are often painless and can therefore be easily missed. Some of which include swollen or red gums and bleeding gums. Pregnant women are also known to get gum disease due to the hormones weakening their response to disease.
And of course, the most well known cause for tooth decay – smoking. The truth about the effects of smoking are no longer hidden and most smokers have an idea as to what they are doing to their bodies, let alone their teeth. Other than the bacterial plaque that smoking can cause, smokers also have less oxygen supplied to the teeth, and therefore infected gums cannot heal fast.
Preventing the Disaster
Nobody wants to go through the physical and emotional trauma of losing teeth – and I’m not talking about the baby teeth. So, preventing this from happening is the most ideal situation. One main way to do this is to avoid the things that could cause tooth decay or gum disease, such as smoking and poor eating habits. Injury to teeth can cause tooth loss, but this doesn’t only include major injuries such as falling on your face or getting hit in the mouth with a ball. Our teeth were made to chew our food, not to open bottle caps, hold hangers, loosen knots and so forth – these small things can damage our teeth. Other simple things such as brushing and flossing, as well as not clenching and grinding can go a long way to save your teeth. One of the most important things to remember is the necessity of regular dental check-ups, because this could really save your teeth in the long run.
Keeping in mind all of these things will help you take good care of your teeth. Tooth loss prevention starts at home with a good oral hygiene routine, and don’t forget that your dentist is your best friend when it comes to your smile.