Missing teeth can be literally no laughing matter, since the gaps in your smile can make you too self-conscious to smile or laugh. We’ve even known people who have declined social events due to their missing teeth.
If a missing tooth has shattered your confidence, then worry no more: it’s relatively easy nowadays to replace a missing tooth. Read on to learn more!
Why do adults lose their teeth?
First, let’s cover the three reasons adults lose their teeth: disease, trauma and chronic illness.
Some people believe that teeth naturally fall out as you get older, but this isn’t true: teeth last a lifetime if you take care of them properly. Unfortunately, however, many people don’t take care of their teeth. This is shown by the fact that gum disease is the most common reason for adult tooth loss.
Gum disease is known as a ‘silent disease’ because it is largely symptomless, at least at the beginning. The disease slowly damages the jawbone, thus causing teeth to fall out.
Tooth decay is another reason for adult tooth loss. This is where bacteria produce acid that slowly disintegrates the tooth. You can help prevent both gum disease and tooth decay with good oral hygiene, which involves brushing, flossing and mouthwash.
Of course, a severe blow to the head can knock a tooth out. And even if the tooth isn’t knocked out, the tooth might be damaged beyond repair and eventually fall out anyway.
There are some chronic illnesses can cause your teeth to fall out. Examples include diabetes, autoimmune diseases, osteomyelitis and cancer. However, tooth loss due to chronic illness is relatively rare; it’s much more common to lose teeth by gum disease.
What can I do about a missing tooth?
If you’ve lost a tooth due to trauma, then the good news is that dentists can sometimes save the tooth. You will need to get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible – ideally within an hour of the accident. While you make your way to the dentist, keep the tooth in a glass of milk or even in your mouth. This will stop the tooth from drying out.
For everyone else, the treatment for a missing tooth is an artificial tooth. Artificial teeth are typically held in place with a dental bridge or a dental implant.
For many years, dental bridges were the only option to hold an artificial tooth in place. Here, two dental crowns, one on each healthy tooth on either side of the gap, stop the fake tooth from moving around.
Nowadays dental implants are more popular. A dental implant consists of a titanium post that secures the fake tooth to your jaw. The post acts like an artificial root that holds the tooth firmly in place. Dental implants are strong, long-lasting, and they look and feel realistic. The titanium root also helps prevent bone loss by stimulating the surrounding bone. This is why most dentists recommend dental implants nowadays.
Not sure about what to do with your missing tooth?
If you have one or more teeth missing, then make an appointment with one of our dentists so we can discuss your options. Tooth replacement therapy is a great way to boost your confidence and get back the smile you deserve.Leave a reply