Tooth Loss

What Causes Tooth Loss?

We all know it’s normal for young children to lose their first set of teeth.  Sometimes people even have an extra tooth or two to lose.  But once the adult set of teeth are in place, losing any further teeth is never a good thing.  Losing teeth can happen for a variety of reasons – some of which can point to a more serious issue.  As always, for any situation where tooth loss or damage occurs, you should always consult your dentist.

Read below to better understand the causes of losing teeth

Broken tooth painTraumatic injury is the most common reason for anybody to lose teeth.  Sporting accidents (hockey anybody?), back yard shenanigans, regular every day accidents are all reasons people lose teeth every day.  Not pleasant, but also not any kind of an indicator of more serious problems (except possibly clumsiness).   A few reasons that don’t have to do with traumatic injury are:

  • Gum Disease:  This is number one cause of tooth loss among adults.  Also known as periodontal disease,  this is an infection in the structures that support the teeth so as Gum Disease progresses, your teeth become less and less solidly attached.  Eventually, gum disease reaches the alveolar bone and your teeth will fall out or need to be extracted.
  • Tooth Decay:  If cavities or chipped / broken teeth are left untreated, tooth decay is the eventual result.  Once tooth decay sets in, the tooth structure is damaged and can even spread as an infection to the supporting bone.
  • Tooth Fracture:  This is often caused by grinding the teeth at night while you are sleeping.  It is also often caused by, for example, biting into something hard such as a steak bone.  A crown can often fix this problem and keep it from getting worse but if the damage to the tooth is too severe, it may be need to be extracted.  This will be determined by the extent of the fracture (a very deep crack, for example) as well as the location of the damage on the tooth.  If the side or the base of the tooth is fractured, a crown may not be an acceptable remedy.

Symptoms and risk factors of tooth loss

  • Poor oral hygiene is the most obvious.  A person who doesn’t floss and brush on a regular basis is far more likely to encounter some kind of tooth loss in their lives than a person who takes good care of their teeth on a regular basis.  Lack of adequate oral hygiene leads to plaque buildup, tartar buildup and various forms of bacteria that can promote tooth decaysmurf brushing teeth
  • Missing dentist visits is another indicator of a person who may well experience tooth loss.  The dentist will spot problem areas while they are still addressable and be able to recommend a course of action that will eliminate or reduce tooth loss.  Missing these dental appointments is a sure fire way to miss out of the benefits of having a dentist identify and address problem areas while they can still be rectified.
  • Smoking – well, smoking is never a good idea and just as it’s bad for your body, it’s also bad for your teeth and your mouth.  Smokers have an increased likelihood of developing gum disease as well.  Smokers, even more than anybody else, should adhere strictly to their dental appointments.

The single best way to prevent or minimize tooth loss is to see your dentist on a regular basis.  During these visits, your dentist will be able to uncover potential problem areas and address them while they are still able to be taken care of or before they get worse.  Visit your dentist and practice good oral hygiend.  Oh, and stop smoking!

What to look for in choosing a dentist

When to Choose a Dentist

The “when” of choosing a dentist is easy to say and comprehend, but much more difficult in real life.  When is, or should be, before you need a dentist!  If you’ve lived in the same place for awhile, you should have this taken care of.  If not, do your research online and ask a lot of friends for recommendations, but whatever the case, get it done.  The worst time to look for a dentist is when you need one.  When you broke a tooth or have a painful tooth ache, that’s not the time.  When your son or daughter crashes their bike and bumps their favorite set of teeth against the handlebar, that’s not the time to look for a dentist.  Start looking now.

SmileWhat to look for

There’s a number of things to look for but mention the term “dentist” to anybody and the first response is usually fear.  Pretty much everybody has some level of fear when it comes to visiting a dentist so it makes sense to find one that you are comfortable with so you are more likely to actually make the visits!  So, at the top of the list should be comfort.  Comfort for you and the rest of the family.  And this isn’t just about the dentist, it’s about the facility and the staff as well. Visit the office and meet the staff – see how you get along.  How comfy you feel in the office and talking to the staff.  Observe how they treat the other customers – is that how you want to be treated when you come in for a visit?  How does the dentist respond to questions?  Does he explain fully in terms you understand or does he rattle off “doctor talk” and treat your questions with indifference?  How does the dentist work with kids?  Is he gentle?  …rough?  …uncaring?  How’s the waiting room?  Comfy?

After the comfort factor, or alongside it, should be competence.  You don’t want some hack working on your mouth.  You certainly don’t want some hack working on your kid’s mouth.  So do the research, ensure state licensing is active, ensure there are no disciplinary actions pending or in the dentist’s past.

Next would be fees and insurance.  The fees for any given procedure will vary from dentist to dentist but on the whole, they’re usually in the same ballpark.  You’re going to pay the same range for a tooth extraction.  What’s important here is your insurance and if the dentist takes it.  And the payments after the insurance is figured in.  Make sure you fully understand your coverage and the accepted costs associated with that coverage as well as the deductibles you’ll be responsible for.

After comfort, competence and fees, you want to consider things like the location of the office, the office hours, what days your specific dentist works in that specific office as they often bounce from office to office depending on the day of the week and how busy they are (can you even get an appointment?).

Get it done!Dentist working

I hope this helps a bit – the most important part is that you get it started and finish it.  Find a dentist now, don’t wait until you need one.  Find one that you are comfy with, that is good at what they do, and that has agreeable fees and takes your insurance.

Happy Smiling!

How to floss your teeth

There’s no disputing the importance of flossing your teeth.  Take a look at the video from the American Dental Association. In this video you’ll be shown the appropriate method to floss your teeth as well provided information to help you understand the importance of flossing