Brushing Up On Tooth Loss

losing a toothDealing with the stigmas of tooth loss can be difficult. Unfortunately, society often associates tooth loss with bad oral health or risky lifestyle choices. It’s not uncommon for people to judge someone with missing teeth based on their physical appearances.

It can be hard to deal with the emotional effects of losing a tooth. It’s important to remember that there are solutions for your tooth loss, so you won’t have to feel anxious about it anymore.

It’s also important for those around you to realize there are a lot reasons someone is missing a tooth, and some of them are inevitable. Today, we’re going to talk about the variety of reasons someone might be missing a tooth, in hopes of reducing the social implications of tooth loss.

3 Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss

There are a few common reasons for tooth loss. Some of these are preventable, while others are inevitable.

  1. Genetically absent. It’s pretty common for people to be born without a tooth. This condition is known as “congenital absence of tooth.” Usually this comes into play when someone loses their baby tooth, and the permanent tooth never grows in after it. Sometimes the baby tooth won’t fall out until it fails from a lack of root support and needs to be removed. If you’re suffering from a congenitally absent tooth, you’ll need to have a checkup to make sure there isn’t a “tooth bud” in the jawbone area. Sometimes, when you’re born missing your permanent tooth, a cyst-like growth will form.
  2. Dental trauma. Dental trauma is a less common cause of tooth loss, but accidents can happen. Dental trauma is more common amongst clumsy children, which isn’t a big deal, because the permanent tooth will just grow in afterward. In cases where a permanent tooth is traumatized, whether it be knocked out in a fist fight, baseball game, or even car accidents, you can sometimes save the tooth by having it placed back in. Sometimes dental trauma will go unnoticed, causing a root fracture that turns into an infection months later. Dental trauma can seriously affect the jaw bone and the teeth surrounding the affected area.Depending on how the area was hurt, it can also cause a loss of jaw bone density, in which case you might need to get a bone graft or jaw reconstruction, before a dental implant can be placed. You can avoid sports-related dental trauma by wearing a mouth guard during contact sports. Sometimes grinding your teeth and jaw clenching at night can lead to tooth loss, in which case wearing a mouth guard to sleep will help keep your teeth in good shape. If you have a crooked bite, this can also lead to a traumatic tooth loss, since your bite won’t close evenly in instances when your jaw is forced shut.
  3. Dental diseases. The most common reason for tooth loss is gum disease. Gum disease usually occurs from a lack of flossing and brushing; however, a number of genetic diseases can predispose you to gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gums that support the tooth, which can lead to tooth loss. When tooth loss occurs from gum disease, it’s because the gums recede so far back that they fall out on their own accord. Otherwise, they’re irreparable and have to be extracted. Tooth decay is another common cause of tooth loss, in which the tooth decays past the point of restoration.

All three of these causes of tooth loss are incredibly painful. The best way to save your teeth from dental diseases and trauma is by keeping up with your oral health and nutrition. The stronger your teeth, the more they’ll withstand blows and fractures. If you experience a trauma and your tooth seems fine, make sure that you get your mouth checked for root fractures.