There are often signs that can warn you of dental health trouble, such as a toothache or bleeding in your gums when you brush and floss. Such signs can mean that seeking treatment as soon as possible could be the best thing for your oral health. However, there aren’t as clear signs that you’re about to lose a tooth, unless the tooth is already in a severe state and tooth loss seems obviously likely. Today, we examine a few earlier signs that you might have a condition that could increase your risks of tooth loss, and why you should take these signs seriously.
4 Signs of Tooth Loss
#1 - If a Tooth Feels Noticeably Loose
A loose tooth is always a sign of trouble. When healthy, your teeth are supported by roots that rest within sockets in your jawbone, and are held securely in place by a complex and strong network of periodontal tissues and ligaments. Any give in their position when you apply pressure to the tooth could mean that these structures and ligaments have become compromised, either by periodontal disease, erosion of the bone structure, accidental trauma, or other causes. If not addressed soon, the condition could lead to the loss of the tooth, or the need for its extraction and replacement.
#2 - If The Tooth Has Been Damaged for a While
Tooth damage doesn’t always seem severe, especially if the discomfort isn’t extreme. However, all forms of tooth damage are progressive, and not taking it seriously could lead to the damage becoming worse before you realize it. In some cases, the damage may extend to the tooth’s root, in which case the tooth can’t be restored and will need to be extracted and replaced. In other cases, the main crown of the tooth may become so damaged that it can’t support a restoration to repair it, such as a custom dental crown.
#3 - If You Develop Gum Disease
Direct problems with your tooth structure can potentially lead to tooth loss if given enough time. However, the most frequent reason for people to experience tooth loss is the progression of severe gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, this condition erodes the tissues and structures that support your natural teeth roots, leaving them with inadequate support. Loose teeth is one sign of gum disease, as are bleeding in your gums, redness and inflammation in certain areas of the tissue, and more.
#4 - You're Experiencing Sub-Optimal Function
Just as your teeth must be properly secured to withstand the pressure of your bite, missing structures can cause unevenness. In other words, your bite will attempt to readjust to accommodate for the missing teeth, causing strain, difficulties biting and chewing, problems enunciating, and even pain and stress. To combat this, your dentist will recommend seeking an implant restoration procedure. During this process, your Fort Worth, TX oral surgeon will strategically place a biocompatible titanium post strategically in the jaw to act as an artificial root, then finish it off with a custom-designed and highly lifelike crown restoration. Once again, you will be able to have an even bite and properly absorb the pressure as needed.
5 Facts About Tooth Loss You Might Not Know
Did you know that tooth loss isn’t a natural result of aging? If most or all of the elders in your family have experienced it, then you may believe it is. The truth, however, is that tooth loss is a direct result of one or more specific oral health issues, and if you can prevent or control these issues, you have a good chance of avoiding tooth loss for life. At our Ft. Worth, TX, dental implant office, we have extensive experience helping patients rebuild their smiles following the loss of one or more teeth. We can also help you understand more about tooth loss so you have a better chance of preventing it from happening again.
#1 - Its Biggest Cause is Gum Disease, Not Tooth Disease
Many patients believe that the biggest cause of adult tooth loss must be a condition that affects your tooth structure, such as tooth decay. However, the most frequent cause of tooth loss is gum disease, which erodes the gum tissues and jawbone structure that support your teeth. Without adequate support, your teeth are much more likely to fall out or require extraction as part of your gum disease treatment. Because of this, preventing gum disease is one of the most important parts of reducing your risks of tooth loss.
#2 - It's Only the Beginning
Losing teeth can seem like the worst part of a chronic condition like gum disease. However, after you’ve lost one or more teeth, your smile can face significantly more risks because of it. For example, tooth loss can cause your remaining teeth to shift out of place and throw your bite pressure off balance. The loss of your teeth roots can have a detrimental effect on the mass and density of your jawbone structure. Because the damage continues, you shouldn’t hesitate to replace your missing teeth, preferably with one or more dental implants.
#3 - It Can Lead to Structural Damage
Your tooth is comprised of a root and crown that work together to help you accomplish functional tasks efficiently. How this occurs is that the root is securely embedded in the jaw bone beneath the gums and acts as an anchor so as to provide the crown enough strength and support to withstand your mouth’s standard bite pressure. When a section of the jaw is vacant of a root, it essentially is no longer able to fulfill its intended function, thus becoming subject to deterioration over time. When this goes on for a while, the portion of healthy structure remaining will become so diminished it is unable to support implant restorations, requiring extensive treatment such as bone grafting to mend. For more information on this process, contact our team today.
#4 - Increased Chance for Losing More Teeth
Another concern that arises from not replacing a lost tooth is the increased chance of losing more. Oftentimes, the primary cause of structural loss is due to infection or decay. When a compromised tooth is removed, it does not necessarily mean the infection is gone. By not replacing the infected structure, your chances of losing others will dramatically increase.
#5 - Only Dental Implants Replace All of Your Lost Tooth
While you have several options for dealing with tooth loss, only one offers the advantage of replacing all of your lost tooth’s structure – including the root that secured it. Dental implants are small, root-like posts that can be inserted into your jawbone in place of your lost teeth roots. The ability to replace missing teeth roots with lifelike posts is a significant advantage when it comes to restoring and preserving your smile. In addition to offering unmatched support for your replacement teeth, the implant posts can also help ensure your jawbone remains strong and healthy for life. Learn more about the costs of dental implants.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
The most common reason for people to experience tooth loss is the progression of severe gum disease, which results in the erosion of your gum tissues and jawbone structure. These make up the foundation of your smile and the main support for your teeth roots. When they’re compromised by severe gum disease, they can leave your teeth without adequate support, causing them to grow loose, fall out, and/or require tooth extraction by the time you seek treatment. In addition to gum disease, chronic oral health concerns like tooth decay can also result in the loss or extraction of a tooth if it isn’t addressed appropriately.
While gum disease and other oral health concerns are often preventable with good hygiene and dental care, there are some concerns that can cost you one or more of your natural teeth despite your best preventive efforts. For example, if you experience a dental emergency, such as accidental trauma to your teeth or oral structures, then a tooth may become loose or knocked out of its socket. If the damage is severe enough, then restoring your smile and bite function could require replacing the tooth with a lifelike dental restoration.
3 Consequences of Tooth Loss
Whether it’s from accidental trauma or the progression of an oral health concern like gum disease, the loss of a tooth is something that immediately and noticeably impacts your oral health several ways. Yet, some of the most harmful consequences of tooth loss aren’t the things that you notice right away.
#1 - You Can Lose the Full Function of Your Teeth
The impacts of losing a tooth can be generalized as losing the healthy, natural tooth’s function. The significance of this function, however, can be more complex than many people realize. In addition to biting and chewing your food, your teeth are also responsible for helping to keep your other oral structures strong and healthy. For example, the roots your teeth are secured in your jawbone structure, and every time you bite and chew, the pressure in your teeth roots stimulates the jawbone. This is essential to maintaining a healthy supply of minerals and nutrients to your dental ridge. After losing a tooth, this connection can be compromised, leading to a loss of mass and density in that area of your jawbone structure.
#2 - Diminished Strength in Your Jawbone
After losing a tooth, the loss of the tooth’s visible structure can be the most immediately noticeable consequence. It can also seem like the most devastating impact, as the loss of your tooth’s crown also impacts your bite’s ability to function properly and maintain proper balance when you bite and chew. However, the loss of your tooth’s root and the diminishment of your jawbone’s strength and integrity can become a more significant risk factor to your oral health, and may lead to the loss of more teeth in the near future.
#3 - Loss of Bone Density
The diminished stimulation of the jaw bone by the tooth roots can result in the loss of bone mass and density in your jaw, increasing your risks of losing more teeth and experiencing the visual impacts of jawbone erosion, often referred to as facial collapse.
How Tooth Roots Provide Structural Integrity
Your teeth do much more than just help you chew. In fact, they help perform a number of purposes and tasks much more efficiently.
Each tooth is comprised of a crown, which is the visible top that shows when you smile, and a root. The root is actually housed beneath the surface of your gums within the jaw bone, and the connection between the bone and the root creates a secure bond that allows your crowns to properly absorb the pressure of your bite.
Tooth roots are critical to the overall health of your mouth because they:
- Support the pressure of your bite
- Provide a secure connection your jaw
The connection between the bone and the root creates a secure bond that allows your crowns to properly absorb the pressure of your bite.
Furthermore, your roots play a major role in reinforcing your jaw’s integrity. Essentially, they stimulate the bone they rest within. If you lose one or even multiple teeth and do not replace them in a timely manner, you run the risk of losing significant amounts of bone, and your chances of receiving successful restorations diminish.
Using Dental Implants to Treat Tooth Loss
While tooth loss might be more preventable than you expect, this may not help as much if you’ve already experienced tooth loss for any reason. If you have, then your risks of losing one or more teeth in the future may also be higher due to the detrimental effects of the loss (particularly your teeth roots). To help rebuild your smile and preserve your remaining healthy teeth, you may benefit from replacing your lost teeth with dental implants. Reestablishing the support of your natural teeth by replacing your lost teeth roots with dental implants can help you stem many of the impacts of tooth loss that can negatively impact your smile.
Find out How to Address Your Tooth Loss
One of the common misconceptions about tooth loss is the belief that it’s inevitable for everyone as they get older. Another is that it can never happen to you, and is only a vague concern to be slightly worried about. The truth is that tooth loss is most often the result of a preventable condition, an unpredictable accident, or other underlying concern, and not a natural part of the aging process. Fortunately, this means you may have a better chance of preventing tooth loss from occurring than you believe, especially if you can identify your specific risk factors for it.
If you notice these or other signs of chronic oral health concerns, than your risks of losing one or more teeth may be higher than you realize. To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling The Dental Implant Place in Ft. Worth, TX, today at 817-560-0414.