Common Causes of Missing Teeth

We are so accustomed to a toothy smile that when we meet someone with a missing tooth, we are taken aback. Naturally, it makes the person conscious of his/her own appearance and impacts their self-confidence. It can make them hide their smile or stop socialising entirely to save themselves from the embarrassment. There are several causes of missing teeth, which include a variety of factors ranging from tooth decay to gum disease and congenital reasons. However, missing teeth is not the end of the road. The problem can be easily resolved with the help of an experienced dentist in Hope Island who will ensure appropriate treatment. Let us take a look at the causes, precautions and treatments available for missing teeth.

Primary Causes of Missing Teeth

The highest number of cases reported for tooth loss across the world is due to periodontal disease or gum disease. The ailment is caused by dental plaque, and the body’s defence mechanism acts against the bacteria by releasing substances that lead to the inflammation of the gums. The early symptoms of the disease are bleeding and swollen gums. As the infection spreads, it reaches the bone under the tooth and destroys the support system, which makes the tooth fall off from the socket.

Your genetics can also lead to missing teeth in the form of an inherited ailment known as ectodermal dysplasia. In such cases, the wisdom teeth might be missing, or the lateral incisors may not appear at all. It can lead to chewing and biting problems and lack of nutrition. It can even destroy the structure of the jaw and can create big gaps between the teeth or lead to overcrowding which can be treated by an orthodontic expert.

Cavities which do not get treated for a long time or poor dental care can also lead to loss of teeth. There are certain other diseases which can cause the problem, such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure that can aggravate your gum disease and cause tooth loss. Besides these, an injury or accident can be another reason for missing teeth.

Risk Factors

Although some reasons are beyond human control, such as loss of teeth in an accident or congenital factors, other risk factors can be kept in check. Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria build-up on the teeth starts impacting the enamel and causes cavities.

  • To keep bacteria away, you must brush and floss your teeth twice daily and use a mouthwash to rinse it afterwards.
  • If you notice cavities, visit your dentist in Hope Island immediately and get it treated as prolonging the action can make matters worse.
  • You must use fluoride-based toothpaste and book a dental appointment after every six months for regular check-ups.
  • You must consume a well-balanced diet which comprises all the essential nutrients.
  • Say no to sticky foods and items that are loaded with sugar, such as candies, chocolates, gummies, packaged juices etc.
  • Smoking is a big risk factor as it reduces the flow of saliva, which allows the sticking of bacteria to the gums and teeth and gives way to plaque and tartar.

Treatment for Missing Teeth

Whether you have lost a tooth recently or some time back, proficient dentists can help you get back your charming smile with these procedures.

Dental Bridges

These are fixed bridges which are used to cover a missing tooth or a couple of teeth in the same place with the help of a prosthetic. It is placed on the adjacent teeth and fixed with the help of dental cement. It is a cheaper alternative to dental implants and looks almost like natural teeth. The only disadvantage of this treatment is that if bacteria start breeding under the bridge, they can lead to severe infection as it is difficult to brush the crevices after the procedure.

Dental Implants

It is an expensive treatment which involves the surgical planting of a titanium metal frame in the jaw where the tooth is missing. Once the frame heals, a replacement tooth is fitted into it to give it permanence. It looks natural and lasts for a lifetime. It doesn’t affect the adjoining teeth and doesn’t interfere with brushing either. It is a surgical method so you must be ready to bear some pain and wait for the healing period.

Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures are replacement teeth attached to a pink base or a clasp that is stuck to the adjoining teeth. It works best when more than one tooth is missing in the jaw. The colour can be matched with the other teeth by the dentist for a perfect look. These are affordable and can be repaired and replaced, depending on the needs of the user. However, the downside of this procedure is that everybody is not comfortable with the pink base inside their mouth, and the regular removal and placement can damage the denture.

Conclusion

Your teeth are supposed to work together as a unit. If even one piece is missing, it creates a problem. The gap can change the biting and chewing pattern and in some cases, cause tooth sensitivity and grinding. Thus take care of your teeth and avoid the risk factors that lead to their loss. Consult a dentist whenever you witness loosening of your teeth.