- Half of all adults in the U.S. have lost at least one permanent tooth by 70 years of age.
- Poor dental hygiene, periodontal disease, tooth decay, trauma, and genetics are common causes of tooth loss.
- Crowns, dental implants, bridges, and dentures are some treatments for missing teeth.
- Quitting smoking, brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once daily will help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Regular dental check-ups can help identify any issues before they become severe and prevent long-term damage to teeth.
The importance of oral health cannot be overstated. Tooth loss can happen at any age for various reasons, some of which can be prevented with proper dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Here’s what you need to know about tooth loss in the country, why it happens, and what you can do about it.
Tooth Loss in The U.S.
Studies have found that about half of adults in the U.S. have lost at least one permanent tooth by the time they reach 70. This is problematic as people need all their teeth to chew food and speak properly.
Causes of Tooth Loss
There are various causes of tooth loss. Here are the most common:
Poor Dental Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S. Poor brushing and flossing habits can lead to the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay, leading to tooth loss. Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly is important to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is a common cause of tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by bacterial infections that lead to gum inflammation, which can damage the teeth and the bone structure that holds the teeth in place. Good dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups can help prevent gum disease.
Tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth enamel, which can cause tooth loss. Bacteria in the mouth produce acid that eats away at the tooth enamel, eventually causing a cavity. Untreated cavities can lead to infection, which can cause tooth loss. Regular dental cleanings and check-ups can help prevent tooth decay.
Trauma to the mouth, such as sports injuries or car accidents, can cause tooth loss. The force of the impact can break or dislodge teeth, and sometimes root fractures can cause tooth loss. Wearing mouthguards during sports and driving safely can help prevent trauma to the mouth.
Genetics can play a role in tooth loss. Some people may be more prone to periodontal disease or tooth decay due to genetic factors. It is important to maintain good dental hygiene and have regular dental check-ups, even if you have a genetic predisposition to tooth loss.
Treating Tooth Loss
Thankfully, there are many ways to treat tooth loss. Here are four of the most common ways:
Being able to repair the diseased tooth is one of the most reliable ways to deal with tooth loss. A robust dental crown can do this for you. Crowns are made of metal and porcelain and fit over the existing tooth to cover any damage and protect it from further decay.
Dental implants are a practical option for people who have lost single or multiple teeth. A titanium post is surgically placed in the jawbone to act as an artificial root for the new tooth attached to the post. The implant looks and acts like a natural tooth.
A bridge replaces one or more missing teeth by attaching artificial teeth to healthy abutment teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials, depending on your needs and preferences.
Dentures are used to replace multiple missing teeth. They are removable and can be taken out for cleaning. Dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth, so they look and feel natural.
Prevention will always be better than cure. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong:
Smoking is the leading cause of tooth staining and gum disease. Quitting smoking can lower your risk of developing these issues and can improve the overall health of your teeth and gums.
Brush Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is important to keep them healthy and strong. This will help remove bacteria and plaque from the teeth, which can lead to periodontal disease or cavities.
Flossing helps remove food particles stuck between the teeth, which can cause decay if left untreated. Flossing once daily will help free your mouth of plaque and food debris.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining your oral health. Seeing a dentist twice a year can help identify any issues with your teeth and gums before they become severe and help you get the proper treatment to maintain healthy teeth.
Tooth loss can be a debilitating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Good dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups can prevent many causes of tooth loss. Following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your teeth remain healthy for years.