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Tooth Loss – Its Causes, Consequences and Treatments

October 17, 2014

Tooth loss, or edentulism, can not only affect the ability to chew food properly, but it can also have serious psychological, emotional, and social consequences, which can impact the quality of your life.

Edentulism refers to the condition when one or more of your teeth are missing, or require extracting because of disease or injury. It is called complete edentulism when all teeth are missing; if only some teeth are lost, it is called partial edentulism.

The Causes of Tooth Loss

Old people are most likely candidates to tooth loss; however, children and adults are also prone to tooth loss if they fail to practice proper oral care.

Children: – Usually, children are prone of two types of tooth loss-early loss of deciduous teeth and loss of permanent teeth because of injury or neglect. Tooth decay is also a major cause of edentulism in children.

Adults: – Dental plaque and gingivitis (gum disease) are the major causes of edentulism among adults. Gingivitis affects the gums and jawbones that support the teeth. When the gum disease damages the tissue and bone, the teeth loosen and may require extraction. Diabetes, heart disease, and even smoking factor towards tooth loss.

Elderly: – Dry mouth, plaque accumulation and hardening, older fillings, and gum recession are the major factors that cause old people to lose their teeth.

Other Common Causes of Tooth Loss

•        Poor oral care habits: – Failing to practice regular oral hygiene (brushing and flossing every day) can cause the development of dental caries and gum disease. This can lead to the increased risk of tooth loss.

•        Bad habits: – Chewing tobacco and smoking can damage teeth that may result in tooth loss. Use of drugs also factors toward tooth loss.

•        Poor diet: – Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar, acid, and carbohydrates can cause tooth damage, leading to tooth loss.

•        Avoid dental visits: – Not visiting the dentist-whether out of anxiety or embarrassment-can aggravate even the simplest of dental problem. Ignoring simple dental problem and letting it aggravate can result in tooth loss.

•        Finance problems: – Some people forsake dental visits and treatments because of high dental care costs or lack of adequate insurance coverage. Unfortunately, neglecting dental visits create serious dental problems, which can result in tooth loss.

Consequences of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss can lead to dire consequences, which may include the following:

•    Trouble eating and speaking
•    Psychological anxiety
•    Pain and relaxation problems
•    Changes in facial features
•    Discontent with appearance, self-consciousness, and loss of confidence
•    Isolation and social embarrassment

Tooth Loss Treatments

People should talk to their dentists and create a treatment plan that focuses on early detection and prevention of oral disease in order to keep teeth healthy. If already suffered from partial edentulism, the same treatment plan will help preserve the remaining teeth, avoiding the complete edentulism. The plan should include patient education about tooth-loss causes, consequences, and treatments, as well as emphasizes on preventive oral health practices, such as daily oral care and avoiding bad habits.

In case if tooth loss is inevitable, several options are available for restoring the teeth and smile. These options include:

Implants: – Dental implants or fixtures are artificial tooth roots that your dentist can attach to the jaw, which can help secure a replacement tooth, denture, or bridge. Dental implants are permanent and stable. They can deliver the same look, feel, as well as function like natural teeth.

Bridge: – A bridge is an artificial tooth fused between two dental crowns to fill in the gap created by a lost tooth. The dentist cements the two dental crowns holding the artificial tooth to the teeth that are adjacent to the missing tooth. Depending on the case, dentists can bridge two or more artificial teeth between the crowns.

Dentures: – Dentures are removable false teeth designed for missing natural teeth. Dentures can be partial dentures and complete or full dentures. Partial dentures help fill in the gaps created by some missing teeth. They not only restore the missing teeth, but they also help keep the remaining healthy teeth from shifting and causing further damage. Complete dentures are suitable for people who have lost several or all of their teeth.

For successful restoration, make sure you get treatment from dentists who are experienced and professional. If you are in Pennsylvania looking for such dentists, then Flenniken Family dentistry is the right place. Flenniken Family Dentistry, an association of expert dentists in PA, offers a complete restorative service. Whether it is implants, dentures, bridge or any other restorative treatment, Flenniken Family Dentistry ensures to deliver exceptional dental care to their patients. Contact us to know more about our dental services.

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