4 Common Causes for Tooth Loss

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

When adults lose teeth, they don’t grow back. Playing the tooth fairy to a child may become a fun tradition in a young family. But the tooth fairy doesn’t leave money under an adult’s pillow when they lose a tooth.

Adults can lose permanent teeth for any number of reasons. Read the top 4 reasons for tooth loss below.

Growing Up

Baby teeth start coming in as early as three months or as late as a year. While you won’t notice your child’s teeth until this time, teeth begin to develop in the womb. During the first year of life, teeth punch through the gum line, creating a very fussy baby.

One of the key differences between baby teeth and permanent teeth comes in the difference between root sizes. Baby teeth have shorter roots anchor to the gums long enough to be useful, while still able to leave when necessary.

Baby teeth, also known as milk teeth, set the stage for your smile as an adult. Baby teeth act as place holders for permanent teeth; they even fall out in a certain order to make room for permanent teeth.

While the loss of baby teeth does happen naturally, make sure to take care of your children’s teeth. The premature loss of baby teeth can have lasting effects on their smile formation and oral health. Make sure to emphasise the importance of oral hygiene with your children.

Trauma

You may have noticed that some of your favourite athletes are missing teeth. People often stereotype professional hockey players as having missing teeth. When it comes to athletes, tooth loss is more likely caused by trauma than by any other factor.

A blow to the mouth or jaw may remove a tooth outright, or it may just break or damage the root. If the blow causes the root to fracture, it can lead to infection, also known as an abscess, and could eventually lead to the death of a tooth.

A person may not know immediately if they have damaged their root, but over time, infection will set in. Recognize the signs of infection by watching for:

  • Pain while chewing
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Increased bad breath
  • Swollen or reddening gums
  • Fever

If you notice these symptoms, go to your dental care professional immediately for an emergency dental visit. They may only last for a few days or a few weeks before they pass, but if they have passed, this may be a sign of a dead tooth.

Many things can cause trauma to the teeth besides violence to the mouth and jaw. Teeth can chip, crack, and break by performing activities as simple as eating. Traumatized teeth can result from eating:

  • Ice
  • Hard candies
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples
  • Olive pits

Unhealthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle keeps your smile bright. Eating properly and taking care of your teeth improve your overall health and the quality of your smile. But poor nutrition and bad oral hygiene habits increase the risk of tooth loss.

Improper Nutrition

Your body needs a number of vitamins and minerals to function every day. A robust diet full of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein deliver these essential elements to your body, providing you with energy and health. But these vitamins and minerals also strengthen the teeth and help them develop.

The most important vitamins and minerals your teeth need include:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A, B (2, 3, and 12), C, D

These vitamins and minerals do everything from increase tooth enamel to decrease the risk of diseases like gingivitis and oral cancer. To make sure you are eating a proper diet, try and minimize consumption of overly processed foods and fast foods.

Also, beware of foods that can cause damage to the teeth. These include:

  • Fruits and vegetables high in citrus acids
  • Foods that stain the teeth
  • Foods and beverages high in sugar
  • Items that get caught between teeth
  • Foods and beverages that cause dehydration

Other unhealthy consumables which affect oral health include smoking and the overindulgence of alcohol.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

Your teeth need constant attention. Brushing, flossing, and mouthwash should all have a place in your daily cleaning routine. Make sure to change your toothbrush every three to four months. Also, talk to your dentist in Calgary about proper brushing techniques. This will help you get a deeper clean every time.

Poor oral habits lead bacteria to inflame gums and rot teeth. If left untreated, a build-up of bacteria can cause tooth loss and gum disease. Prevent these potentially dangerous results by practicing positive oral hygiene habits. It’s never too late to turn your oral health around.

Periodontal Disease

More people lose teeth to periodontal disease than any other reason. Periodontal disease—or gum disease—occurs when poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to remain on teeth forming plaque. As plaque hardens and becomes tartar, the gums inflame, becoming red and swollen.

Untreated, this disease lowers the gums, creating spaces around the base of teeth. Bacteria can then infect these open pockets, causing intense mouth pain, or the loss of a tooth.

A person can lose a tooth for a number of different reasons. If you think you notice the signs of infection, schedule a visit to the dentist immediately. Prevent tooth loss by practicing positive oral hygiene.

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