Ideally, your adult teeth should remain strong and healthy for life. When you lose one or more of them, it’s for a reason, and aside from accidental trauma, such reasons can often be successfully prevented. The most common causes of adult tooth loss consist of dental health issues that destroy your teeth’s supportive structures – namely, periodontal disease. By understanding these causes and how they develop, you will have a better chance of preventing them from becoming severe and costing you one or more of your permanent teeth.
What Causes Permanent Tooth Loss?
Untreated Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is the second-most common dental issue to affect adults in the United States (next to tooth decay). However, it is the most common cause of adult tooth loss. It develops silently, and its earliest symptoms may not be immediately noticeable. However, when allowed to progress, the disease systematically erodes your gums, periodontal ligaments, and eventually your alveolar (jaw) bone. In severe cases, the loss of support means one or more teeth may be lost, or require extraction as soon as possible.
A violent strike to the face/mouth, an accidental fall, a vehicle collision, or any similar accidental impact can knock a tooth out of its socket, or loosen it considerably. While accidents cannot always be avoided, you can lessen your chances of tooth loss by wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports. You can also keep your teeth and periodontal tissues strong and healthy with good hygiene and regular dental care.
Previous Tooth Loss
When you’ve already suffered from tooth loss, your jawbone can grow weak from lack of stimulation, and your remaining teeth can shift out of alignment due to the gap in their ranks. Without all of your teeth, you can also be more susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay, which significantly increases your risks of losing more teeth. Replacing lost teeth, preferably with one or more dental implants, will help protect your oral structures from issues that stem from prolonged tooth loss, increasing your chances of preserving the healthy teeth that remain.
ABOUT YOUR SAN DIEGO, CA, LASER PERIODONTIST:
As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.