Tooth Loss: Risks and Prevention

Close up on a man smiling while he is missing a tooth

Losing a tooth can be quite stressful (and oftentimes painful), and can also affect your confidence especially if the tooth affected is somewhere that’s very visible and part of your smile (such as the incisors, canines, and premolars). Lost teeth can also affect the jaw bone, specifically the bone supporting the tooth, which causes a visible sunken section in the bone and decrease in bone width. Your remaining teeth may also start shifting towards the empty space which causes bite problems as well as jaw joint pain, making it difficult for you to eat. As such, it’s important for one to know the different factors that increase the risk of tooth loss, as well as basic tips to prevent tooth loss:

Risk Factors To Watch Out For

Poor Dental Hygiene. Poor oral health care is still the leading cause of tooth loss as well as other dental issues. That said, the easiest way to keep your teeth intact is to take care of them by regularly and properly brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouth wash. This helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease which often lead to tooth loss and keeps your teeth look clean and healthy.

Food Acidity. High acidity in your mouth can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss, and this increase in acidity levels is oftentimes caused by sugary and acidic food. So you may want to watch what you eat and minimize sugary food and snacks, or at least schedule to eat them once a day if needed to prevent your mouth’s acid levels to spike throughout the day.

Sports. The more you’re involved in high-contact and high-impact sports, the more likely you’ll be losing your teeth by having them knocked off due to collision with a hard object or someone’s elbow/knee/fist. So make sure that you always wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and mouth and minimize the damage of sports-related impact.

Smoking. Smoking will take its toll on your teeth, even if you’ve stopped smoking a few years back. Smoking contributes to tooth loss as it’s one of the leading causes of severe gum disease as well as oral cancer and lung cancer.

Tips to Prevent Tooth Loss

Visit Your Dentist. Even with good oral hygiene practices, no oral health routine is complete without regularly visiting your dentist. A visit to your dentist allows you to assess your current oral health and also detect any developing or underlying dental issues that you may not have noticed so that they may be treated early to prevent future damage and possible tooth loss.

Go Easy on the Alcohol. Alcohol can increase the risk of oral cancers (which can result in tooth loss). So be wary of your alcohol intake and observe moderation.

Drink More Water. So, how exactly can drinking water prevent tooth loss? For one, being hydrated ensures normal bodily function and good overall health and helps get rid of waste. Dehydration leads to having a dry mouth (which lacks saliva), and saliva is your mouth’s primary defence mechanism against tooth decay (and subsequent tooth loss). You can take it up a notch by drinking water with fluoride which effectively helps prevent cavities.

Coping With (Tooth) Loss

However, sometimes tooth loss can’t be avoided — traumatic accidents can occur which can lead to tooth loss, or the pre-existing damage to one’s teeth and gums are beyond repair that no changes in dental hygiene and oral health can prevent tooth loss. Luckily, this can be easily addressed through different options, with dental implants being one of the most common and effective ones. You can ask your dentist in London for dental implant or other teeth replacement options in order to replace lost teeth.

Conclusion

Little boy with missing teeth

Tooth loss can greatly affect one’s oral health, appearance, and quality of life, which is why it’s important to be wary of these risk factors and to remember these basic oral health tips to prevent tooth loss from happening.