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Smiles For Life

A Hole in Your Smile: The Causes of Tooth Loss

By Dr. Dan Whiting on April 10, 2016

The anatomy of a toothHere at Smiles For Life, we're proud to offer patients some of the most advanced dental treatments in the Bridgewater area. This includes dental implants, an excellent treatment option for serious tooth loss.

We'd like to use this post to consider some common causes of tooth loss and then focus on the treatment options available for missing teeth.

The Dangers of Tooth Loss

Before looking at causes, let's briefly note the dangers involved. When you lose teeth, it doesn't just affect the look of your smile. Missing teeth can make biting and chewing certain foods quite difficult. Over time, the bone and gum tissue in the area of the tooth gap will recede, which can cause issues with the alignment of your adjacent teeth as well as issues with overall facial aesthetics.

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

Some of the most common causes of tooth loss are as follows:

  • Serious Tooth Decay and Tooth Damage – When your teeth are seriously chipped and cracked or they have experienced significant tooth decay, this can lead to the loss of teeth.

  • Gum Recession – Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue around a tooth. When severe gum recession occurs, it can lead to loose teeth and eventual tooth loss.

  • The Natural Aging Process – The combined effects of tooth damage, tooth decay, gum recession, and a whole host of other factors related to wear and tear can lead to tooth loss over time.

  • Sports Injuries – When playing sports, you run a risk of dental injuries among other kinds of injuries. This is not limited to combat or contact sports either. Even basketball and soccer can lead to accidental tooth loss given the high level of physicality.

  • Major Accidents – Major collisions involving vehicles or serious falls and slips can lead to trauma to the mouth, which results in tooth loss.

  • Physical Assaults and Altercations – If you get involved in a fight, a blow to the face or mouth can lead to the loss of a tooth.

Treatment Options for Missing Teeth

Dentists have many ways of treating tooth loss, and can tailor your treatment to meet your needs.

  • Dental Bridges – Dental bridges are great for people missing a few teeth. These appliances latch around the teeth adjacent to the tooth gap.

  • Crown-Supported Bridges – While traditional bridges are removable, crown-supported bridges are fixed in place by connecting the bridge to crowns that cap the teeth adjacent to the gap.

  • Dentures – For major tooth loss, dentures are the best option. These appliances brace around the gum and jawbone structure of the dental ridge, allowing a full set of teeth to be restored.

  • Dental Implants – Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are used to support various kinds of dental appliances. These artificial roots fuse with the living structures of the mouth. Dental implants are great for holding crowns, bridges, and dentures in place.

How to Prevent Tooth Loss

To avoid losing teeth and to keep your smile as healthy and beautiful as possible for years to come, consider these simple tips:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Wear mouth guards and protective gear when playing sports
  • Wear helmets/face protection during applicable activities
  • Avoid using tobacco products
  • Visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups

Schedule a Consultation at Smiles For Life

To learn more about treating missing teeth and how we can help you have a smile that's health and beautiful, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team here at Smiles For Life will work with you and help you have the smile that you have always wanted.

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115 Oakwood Dr
Bridgewater, VA 22812

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