Tooth loss can have a big impact on the look of your smile and the quality of your life. The functionality of your teeth will start to decline if you lose even one tooth. If you lose more than one tooth the functionality will decline exponentially. In order to avoid the various side effects of living with missing teeth you need to take steps to prevent tooth loss. Actions that can help prevent tooth loss include a high-quality oral care routine, regular visits to your dentist, a quick response when problems arise, and addressing teeth that are currently missing.
A high-quality oral care routine
A high-quality oral care routine is your daily defense against tooth loss. Decay and gum disease are two factors that often lead to tooth loss. Your oral care routine can fight back against decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing help prevent bacteria, plaque, and tartar that can lead to decay and gum disease. Actively fighting against decay and gum disease with proper oral care is one of the most important factors in preventing tooth loss.
Regular visits to your dentist
Routine visits to your dentist are an essential part of protecting against tooth loss. During these visits your teeth get a deep cleaning which helps remove plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria. In addition, your dentist looks at the condition of your teeth and gums to determine if there are any current or potential problems. These visits will keep you on track with your oral health and help you avoid major issues that can lead to tooth loss.
Quick response when problems arise
Responding quickly when problems arise can help you prevent tooth loss. For example, injury is a common cause of tooth loss. An injury to your tooth may not immediately make it fall out but can lead to tooth death. If you sustain an injury to your tooth, acting quickly can help you save the tooth from eventual death. Any time you experience some type of trauma to your tooth get an appointment with your dentist as quickly as possible for an assessment of the damage.
Addressing teeth that are currently missing
If you are already living with missing teeth you need to address them in order to prevent future tooth loss. One missing tooth can lead to bone loss in your jaw. As the bone deteriorates in the area of your missing tooth it can spread to the bone around your healthy teeth. Eventually, this deterioration can cause your other teeth to loosen and fall out. In order to prevent this from occurring you need to address your missing teeth if possible. One way to prevent additional tooth loss is by getting dental implants. Implants are placed into the bone and fuse with it preventing additional deterioration.
Preventing tooth loss is an important part of maintaining your oral health throughout your life. Keep up with your daily oral care routine, visit the dentist regularly, address problems quickly, and deal with any teeth that are currently missing in order to give yourself the best chance of preventing future tooth loss.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.