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Preventing Tooth Loss

Dentures Are Not Inevitable!

It’s natural for kids to lose their teeth before puberty. The first set is only temporary and is gradually replaced by adult teeth. Those adult teeth do not get natural replacements! They are meant to be the teeth that will be with you for the rest of your life. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, however, more than 36 million American adults do not have any teeth left, and 120 million are missing at least one tooth. What leads to tooth loss, and can anything be done to stop it?

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

While there are many different factors that come into play when it comes to tooth loss, the most common ones can be categorized by the following issues.

  • Gum Disease – also called periodontitis, gum disease comes from things like a diet with little or no nutrition, poor health, a compromised immune system, or even drug side effects. Bacterial infections in your mouth eat away at your gum tissue and teeth. They can even eat away at your jawbone.
  • Cavities – also called caries, cavities form in your teeth when acid from bacteria or your diet eat away at the surface of your teeth. If not addressed, the attack breaks through the enamel and eats up the vulnerable soft portions within, creating a hole inside your teeth. If the hole is not filled, your teeth become a fragile shell, unable to withstand the forces of chewing. They crack under the pressure. Sometimes, the bacteria reach the nerve within the tooth, causing sharp pain and leading to tooth removal.
  • Accidents – any kind of unforeseen event could lead to damage to your teeth. Sports and work accidents are frequent causes of lost teeth. All it takes is a little force from an external source, and you could end up with a chipped or broken tooth. A run-in with a shelf or moving object can lead to a fully dislodged tooth.

Of course, there are other mitigating factors that come into play. The main point is that your adult teeth are not indestructible, nor are they replaced naturally. Proper care and maintenance are vital to prevent tooth loss!

How to Keep Your Teeth

  1. Use Caution – The best way to avoid accidents at work or play is to be careful. Granted, we can’t control the uncontrollable, but being careful is a great way to lower the chances of accidents. Another way is using personal protective equipment when appropriate. Helmets and mouthguards stop injuries from happening.
  2. Create Good Habits – A second course of action that helps maintain your teeth is to avoid or stop habits that endanger the health of your teeth and gums, like using tobacco and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Starting good habits like eating healthy and getting exercise gives your body what it needs to sustain the teeth. Drinking fluoridated water reinforces any weak areas of your enamel through remineralization.
  3. Preventative Maintenance – Another method to avoid tooth loss or decay is called “preventative maintenance.” A regular routine of proper oral hygiene maintains the health of your teeth, gums and mouth as well as prevents damage to your teeth from bacteria and choices in diet. Your oral hygiene routine should include brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Along with brushing, floss regularly to get areas your brush can’t reach. Using mouthwash also reduces the germs and bacteria in your mouth. And of course, our dentist in Yuba City offers gum disease treatment to stop the damage caused by invading bacteria.

For more information on preserving your permanent teeth, or even replacement options for any lost teeth, please contact the Yuba City Dentistry Group. You can do so by calling our Yuba City dentist office or scheduling an appointment online.

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