When children lose baby teeth, it’s a time to rejoice. But when adults suffer from tooth loss, it may be a sign of a serious problem. That’s when it’s time to give us a call at Desert Smiles.
What are the reasons for missing teeth?
The loss of permanent teeth can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging anywhere from hereditary factors to tooth decay to traumatic injury. Here are the following reasons why adults suffer tooth loss:
- Gum disease: The number one cause of lost teeth in adults is gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, an infection of the structures that support the teeth. Once gum disease reaches and destroys the alveolar bone, the teeth begin to loosen and will eventually fall out or need to be extracted.
- Tooth decay: If cavities are left untreated, they can destroy tooth structure as well as cause infection in the supporting bone.
- Tooth injury: An injury can either knock out a tooth immediately or cause damage to the root or pulp that will later require extraction. We recommend using a mouthguard if you play sports.
- Tooth fracture: A fracture in a tooth is often caused by teeth grinding, or what Dr. Tenney and our team call bruxism. A crown may be the answer, but depending on the location of the crack or fracture and how deeply it extends, the tooth may not respond well to repair with a crown and may need to be extracted instead.
What are the risk factors for tooth loss?
- Poor oral hygiene: Patients who only occasionally brush or floss their teeth are more likely to develop tartar, plaque buildup, and other bacteria that cause decay.
- Not visiting the dentist: Seeing Dr. Tenney every six months for a cleaning and checkup prevents any developing oral health issues, as well as ensures that plaque and tartar do not build up over time.
- Smoking: Smokers and users of smokeless tobacco are more likely to develop periodontal disease that can cause tooth loss. If you are a smoker it is crucial to visit us on a timely schedule.
- Various health conditions: Patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic health issues are more likely to suffer from gum disease.
Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Tenney at our Glendale office will give you an accurate diagnosis and a variety of treatment options. It’s important to know that periodontal disease is “silent,” meaning you will not always experience pain as a signal of infection. When caught early, treatments are usually successful.
Give us a call today to schedule your next visit!