Our Hillsborough, NC dental office loves sharing information with patients about how to keep their teeth healthy and beautiful. But sometimes, tooth loss happens. Dr. Garrett, Dr. Razavi, and Carolina Bright Smiles’ endodontist, Dr. King, want to talk to you about the long-term risks of tooth loss and what you can do to mitigate them with restorative dentistry and through regular general dentistry.
Concerned you might be headed toward tooth loss? Having a hard time chewing? Call us at 919-644-7400 and speak to one of our caring dental team professionals about setting up a complimentary consultation.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
Tooth loss can happen for many reasons. Let’s talk about a few.
Tooth decay is what happens when the plaque that develops on your teeth is left to become tartar, and that tartar leads to tooth decay. It can damage the structure of your tooth, which can make your tooth loose and eventually fall out or require tooth extraction.
Gum disease can lead to tooth loss when the infection attacking your gums also begins to attack the bone beneath your gums. Signs of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen, sore, or tender gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Teeth that feel loose
- Teeth that are sensitive
Worried you have gum disease? Gum disease in its earliest stages can be reversed with dedicated brushing and flossing and regular teeth cleanings by your dentist. Carolina Bright Smiles also offers non-invasive Perio Protect to fight gum disease that has progressed enough to need treatment.
Tooth loss could be a symptom of other larger health factors, especially if gum disease is present:
- Oral cancer
Chemotherapy, pregnancy, and menopause can exacerbate gum disease, too. If any of these are factors for your health, you should speak with your dentist about your concerns.
It’s possible to knock a tooth loose or out following a sports injury or accident of some other sort. If you have a dental emergency, please be sure to speak with your dentist about the steps to take to save your tooth.
What Are The Long-Term Risks Of Tooth Loss?
Your quality of life can be drastically affected by the condition of your teeth. When tooth loss happens to you:
- It can lead to poor nutrition because your diet is limited to what you can chew
- It can lead to indigestion because your food is not being chewed fully
- It can cause shame or embarrassment because your smile is often the first thing people notice about you
- It can cause your other teeth to shift out of place
- It can lead to bone loss in your jaw, which can change the entire shape of your face
- It can cause your cheeks to look sunken in and lead to wrinkles around your lips
How Can I Prevent Tooth Loss?
The better you treat your teeth, the better your teeth will treat you. To keep your teeth healthy for decades to come, you should:
- Consider a root canal for a badly damaged tooth. A root canal is often the last way you can save a tooth from extraction. Dr. King is the only root canal specialist in Hillsborough, NC. Call 919-644-7400 to schedule a consultation with him.
- Keep six-month checkups with your dentist. Professional teeth cleanings help keep bacteria at bay, and exams can keep you informed about any potential health issues.
- Floss at least once a day and brush your teeth twice a day. It’s particularly important to brush your teeth before bed or after eating sweets.
- Drink water. If water is fluoridated where you are, the fluoride can help strengthen your teeth. Water also improves your natural saliva production, which helps keep your teeth healthy.
- Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from all sorts of things like sports injuries and teeth grinding. Get one if you need one.
- Get treated at Carolina Bright Smiles if you have gum disease.
- Make getting fillings a priority when they’re recommended by your dentist.
What Are My Tooth Replacement Options?
But what if you’ve already suffered tooth loss? You have options. Carolina Bright Smiles can replace your teeth with:
- Dental implants: Dental implants are rooted in your jaw just like your natural teeth. We can place your dental implant and finish it with a natural-looking replacement tooth.
- Dental implant-supported dentures: For dentures with a stronger hold, we can pair your dentures with dental implants.
- Dental bridges: A dental bridge uses your healthy teeth to support a series of replacement teeth.
Whether you’re trying to keep your teeth healthy, wanting to save your teeth, or dealing with tooth loss, Carolina Bright Smiles can help. We offer complimentary consultations and free second opinions. To schedule your appointment, call us at 919-644-7400. Don’t let tooth loss put your smile in jeopardy.