You probably already know that tooth loss may be a consequence of poor oral hygiene. That’s why it’s important to brush every day, floss every day, see your dentist every six months, and undergo any oral surgery procedures they recommend. Staying on top of your oral health is key to preserving your smile.
That said, there are instances that can lead to tooth loss, even if someone is vigilant about caring for them. Don’t panic if this happens. You may be able to preserve a missing tooth. In many cases, a dental implant can essentially serve as a permanent replacement if you’re not able to save a lost tooth.
Still, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the potentially unexpected causes of tooth loss. Knowing what situations can put your teeth at risk makes it easier to protect them. Here are some of the overlooked situations that may lead to tooth loss you need to know:
Bruxism is the technical term for grinding one’s teeth. People can develop this condition for many reasons. Often, it’s a side effect of other conditions, such as anxiety or sleep apnea.
This is one reason you need to schedule dental appointments regularly. People who grind their teeth often don’t realize it. A professional can check the condition of your teeth on a regular basis and identify this issue if it exists. If your bruxism is related to another health issue, such as sleep apnea, discovering you grind your teeth could be the first step towards treatment.
Grinding can obviously wear down teeth. In some cases, it can even cause people to lose them. The best way to avoid this is to be proactive about your dental health. While there are steps you can take on your own to keep your teeth in good shape, you also need to coordinate with professionals to identify conditions that are easy to overlook.
Brushing and flossing regularly doesn’t just protect your teeth. It also removes bacteria from your gums. Thus, it’s important to pay attention to gum health when practicing oral hygiene.
Bacteria can eat away at gum tissue. This may cause it to recede over time. As a result, it can’t hold teeth in place. To prevent this, maintain strong oral hygiene habits, see your dentist at least every six months, and avoid habits such as tobacco use.
High Blood Pressure
The body is connected. A condition affecting one system can have an impact elsewhere. Sometimes the links between certain conditions and parts of the body aren’t obvious. However, they are measurable. An example would be the link between high blood pressure and gum disease.
That suggests taking care of your cardiovascular health may also be an effective way to guard against tooth loss. Make sure you’re eating well, getting sufficient exercise, refraining from drug and alcohol use, and taking any blood pressure medication prescribed by your doctor. Let your dental professional know about any and all medications or supplements you take.
You know how doctors always tell children to drink milk in order to keep their bones strong? The same principle applies to your teeth. Your body needs certain essential nutrients to maintain dental strength. If your diet isn’t providing them, you could lose teeth eventually.
Eating foods rich in vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium can help prevent tooth loss as a result of malnutrition. You might also consider keeping track of your eating habits over the course of one or two weeks and visiting with your dentist or physician to discuss whether you’re meeting your nutritional needs. They can suggest changes to your diet if necessary.
Odds are good you don’t need to be reminded that playing sports can put you at risk of tooth loss. This is a major reason that dental and oral surgery professionals recommend wearing a mouthguard whenever you’re out on the field.
However, it’s easy to forget that basic occupational or slip and fall accidents can have the same consequences. Although there are occasions when an accident is unavoidable, in general, you can protect your teeth by staying aware of your surroundings. Noticing a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign at work (or anywhere else) could mean the difference between keeping your smile or losing a tooth.
Diabetes, along with other autoimmune conditions, limits your body’s ability to reduce inflammation. This can make it difficult to overcome conditions such as gum disease. If you have an autoimmune disease, make sure you’re actively working with your physician to maintain your health. Specifically ask your doctor or dentist if there are any extra steps you can take to prevent tooth loss.
Again, if you do lose a tooth, there are options. An oral surgeon can provide a replacement that performs the function and matches the appearance of your natural tooth. However, that is likely a situation you want to avoid. Keeping these points in mind will help.