by admin on February 15, 2009
When one or more teeth become loose and fall out, it is termed as tooth loss. Tooth loss is natural for the milk set of teeth for kids as they get replaced by the permanent set of teeth. Apart from this, tooth loss is an undesirable entity which occurs due to physical injury or disease. The condition of missing teeth is medically termed as edentulism or anodontia .
Causes of Tooth Loss
Physical trauma or injury: Severe blow to the face or injury can cause the teeth to become loose and fall out. Our teeth are quite strong and hence it takes quite a large amount of force to displace the teeth from their sockets.
Gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is the leading cause for tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is the inflammation or infection of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth.
When gum disease has progressed to an advanced stage, it causes the resoption (degradation) of the bone supporting the tooth. This leads to the tooth loosening and eventually falling out.
Dental caries. It is an irreversible microbial disease of the tooth which damages the tooth structure. Also known as tooth decay or cavities. it can result in tooth loss over
a period of time.
Prevention of tooth loss
- Brushing and flossing: Gum disease and tooth decay occur often as a result of poor oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day to keep dental problems at bay. Flossing helps remove food debris in between your teeth and is recommended.
- Regular visits to dentist: It is recommended to visit your dentist regularly to identify oral problems in their initial stage.
- Fluoride therapy: use of fluoridated toothpaste and mouth wash is advisable as it prevents dental caries and hence tooth loss.
- Dental sealants: Dental sealants are often applied in children on the chewing surfaces of back teeth as it acts as a physical barrier against dental caries.
Dental implants: Dental implant is the replacement of the missing tooth/teeth by an artificial tooth which are embedded in your jaw bone. It is the most advanced treatment for tooth loss and is costly.
Bridges: Dental bridges are also known as fixed partial dentures. They replace the missing tooth and are supported by surrounding teeth.
Removable partial dentures: These are removable dentures which replace the missing teeth.
Complete denture: In cases of completely missing teeth, a complete denture is an effective way to replace the missing teeth.