If you are missing at least one of your natural teeth, you are far from alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately half of all Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 are missing at least one of their natural teeth. While advanced technologies such as dental implants have made it more possible than ever to restore form, function, and excellent oral health to mouths affected by missing teeth, it is always far better to prevent the loss of the natural teeth to begin with. In most cases, tooth loss is preventable.
The best way to ensure that you maintain the health of your mouth, whether you currently have all of your natural teeth or you want to preserve those teeth that are remaining, is to visit the dentist at least twice a year as recommended by the American Dental Association. At Dental Associates of New England, Dr. John D. Meola and his colleagues can restore your mouth to optimal health and then help you maintain that health for a lifetime through routine professional cleanings and thorough oral examinations. They can also help you to protect your natural teeth by educating you about the causes of tooth loss at their Boston, MA dental practice. By knowing the causes of tooth loss, you will be better equipped to avoid them.
Whatever the current state of your oral health, it is important that you seek regular dental care to achieve the healthiest mouth possible. If you are missing any of your natural teeth, it is equally important that you have them replaced as soon as possible. We invite you to schedule a consultation at Dental Associates of New England today.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss?
There are many possible causes of tooth loss among adult patients, including:
- Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is the number-one cause of tooth loss among adults. It is particularly dangerous in its most advanced stage, periodontitis. During this stage, the inflamed gums begin to pull away from the teeth, while the jaw bone that underlies and provides support to the teeth starts to degrade. If left untreated, periodontitis will inevitably result in tooth loss.
- Root canal infections: Each of your teeth has up to four root canals that contain a substance called dental pulp. This pulp is essential to the health of the tooth. When the pulp is exposed to bacteria due to a breach in the root canal, however, it can become infected, resulting in pain and the eventual death of the tooth. If the pulp is surgically removed and the tooth is sealed off with a crown in a timely fashion, then at least some of the natural tooth can be salvaged. If not, the tooth will have to be extracted or it will simply die in the mouth.
- Cavities: Many root canal infections start with cavities. If caught early enough, cavities can be treated before they cause extensive damage or pain. If left untreated, however, the tooth will eventually need to be extracted, or it will die.
- Injury or trauma: Unfortunately, even a healthy tooth can be lost to injury or trauma.
Learn More about the Causes of Tooth Loss
To learn more about the possible causes of tooth loss, please contact Dental Associates of New England today.