The adult teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but they can fall out if you do not take proper care of your teeth. Losing just one tooth can have a profound effect on your quality of life, your health, and your self-esteem. Fortunately, tooth loss is largely preventable. Routine professional dental care is crucial to ensuring optimal oral health, and routine oral hygiene at home is critical to ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy.
What Causes Teeth To Fall Out?
Some of the risks for tooth loss include:
- Gum disease: Periodontitis, or advanced gum disease that has progressed from gingivitis, is the main cause of adult tooth loss. It is a serious infection of the gums that causes the soft tissue to recede and destroy the bone supporting the teeth. Although it is common, it is preventable with good oral hygiene. Signs of periodontal disease include swollen gums, bright red or purplish gums, tender gums that bleed easily, receding gums that make the teeth look longer than normal, pus between the teeth and gums, bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing, and other symptoms. If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your dentist immediately to diagnose and treat your periodontitis.
- Poor nutrition: Your teeth need many essential nutrients to stay strong. Without a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C. If your diet lacks these vitamins and nutrients, you are at an increased with of tooth decay. A poor diet high in acidic or sugary foods can also increase plaque on your teeth, which eventually can lead to cavities and weaker teeth.
- Injury: Traumatic injuries to the mouth can dislodge the teeth, but it’s uncommon for the tooth to be knocked out completely. Treatment for teeth that break or are irreparably damaged may involve extraction and the placement of a dental implant.
- Other health problems: Nearly 20% of patients who lose their adult teeth have type 2 diabetes, as there is a well-established link between gum disease and diabetes. Other health problems that may cause the teeth to fall out include high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Loss?
You can prevent the risk of losing your adult teeth by taking care of your teeth with regular brushing, flossing, refraining from smoking, and keeping current with your dental checkups and having professional cleanings as often as recommended.
Athletes can prevent tooth loss by wearing a properly fitted mouthguard for their particular sport while they are in action.
Treatment Options for Loose Teeth
- Scaling and root planing: This is a type of deep cleaning that goes underneath the gum line to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup that cannot be removed with a traditional cleaning.
- Dental appliances: A night guard while sleeping can create a protective barrier between the top and bottom teeth, and is also a good option for teeth grinders.
- Extraction and placement of dental implants: Sometimes the tooth cannot be saved, as the gum disease, tooth decay, or injury is too extensive. In this case, the best option is to remove the tooth, place a bone graft in the open pocket where the tooth was, and proceed with placing a dental implant, which is the best option for the replacement of missing teeth.
Remember, regular oral hygiene is critical to prevent loose teeth caused by gum disease. You must brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, and floss once a day. You should also keep current with your dental cleanings and schedule appointments at least twice a year, which may increase to every 3 or 4 months for periodontal disease maintenance.