Tooth loss is caused by a number of factors, most of which are preventable. This dental problem is common in children, although missing teeth in children is not a major cause of concern when the milk teeth are concerned since these teeth will be replaced by permanent (adult) teeth. However, losing teeth in adults pose serious problems; understanding the causes and risk factors of adult tooth loss can be beneficial in avoiding this problem.
Common Causes of Tooth Loss
Tooth Decay Dental cavities that are left untreated can cause severe decay and damage, as well as a great deal of pain and discomfort. The decay can start from the outer surface of the affected tooth, and can slowly go to the inner parts of the tooth where the pulp and the roots are located. The longer the decay is left untreated, the bigger the damage will be to the tooth. Irreversible damage to a tooth will lead to tooth extraction and tooth loss.
Gum Problems Diseases involving the gums not only affect these supporting tissues they can also negatively affect the teeth, especially if not treated in the soonest possible time. Infections and inflammations of the gums can cause the teeth to become loose; when left untreated, the teeth in that particular area can eventually be lost.
Facial Injuries Direct trauma or injuries to the facial area can also cause one to lose teeth. These injuries can be from playing contact sports (such as football and boxing), or from accidents that involve a blunt force being applied to the face or the mouth area.
Prevention of Tooth Loss
Proper oral hygiene practises will go a long way in the prevention of tooth decay (and subsequently, can prevent tooth loss). Regular tooth brushing, the use of dental floss, and regular visits to the dentist will make sure that the teeth are kept healthy, and that any dental problems are diagnosed and treated in their earliest stages.
A healthy diet can strengthen the gums and the teeth, decreasing the risk of tooth loss. A diet which consists more of fruits and vegetables, and less of food items high in sugar or acidity, will help in keeping the teeth in optimal health conditions.
Sports injuries can be prevented with the use of sports mouth guards. The use of these mouth guards can protect the teeth and the lips/mouth area from being injured when playing contact sports, so that tooth loss and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth can be avoided.