Many children look forward to losing their first baby tooth. This is a sign that they’re growing up; they may also make a couple of dollars after a visit from the tooth fairy.
Unfortunately, losing a tooth as an adult isn’t the most enjoyable experience. Instead of finding money under their pillow, adults have to deal with expensive trips to the dentist. A missing tooth can also influence a person’s appearance and confidence.
However, tooth loss is noticeably common among adults around the world. In a recent study with nearly 3,700 people, 1,775 of them had at least one tooth removed. Additionally, 14 of the subjects had all of their teeth removed!
Everyone should know how to react after losing one or more of their permanent teeth (also commonly referred to as adult teeth). Knowing this information can potentially help you save your time, money and smile.
Continue reading to learn more about the causes, treatment and prevention of tooth loss.
There are several reasons as to why someone may lose one of their adult teeth. Here are some common examples:
Oral Health Diseases
There are a handful of oral health diseases that can cause someone to lose one or more of their teeth. One of the leading oral health issues is gingivitis, which, if left untreated, can develop into periodontal disease (also commonly referred to as gum disease).
Gum disease attacks the sulcus — a small opening between the tooth and the gum line that helps keep the tooth in place. Gum disease gradually damages the sulcus and turns it into a “pocket”. This affects the sulcus’ ability to hold the tooth in place.
Many experts feel that smoking tobacco can heavily influence your oral health. Tobacco products stimulate your saliva production — this makes it easier for germs to fuse with your saliva and travel throughout your mouth. As this happens, the germs gradually stick to your teeth and other parts of your mouth. This makes it easier for you to develop a tooth or gum infection.
Even if you have impeccable oral health habits, you may accidentally knock one of your teeth out.
Some common examples of these instances include:
- Sports accidents
- Work accidents
- Eating hard or crunchy foods
Treating a missing tooth is something that needs to be taken extremely seriously. You need to make quick, informed decisions if you want to make a full recovery.
Storing Your Tooth
After you’ve accidentally lost a tooth, you need to store it properly if you want to get it professionally reinserted. There are several ways that you can safely store your tooth in the meantime.
Some examples include:
- Storing it in a glass of milk or saline solution
- Temporarily reinserting it into the gum socket
- Holding it firmly and gently by the crown (not the root)
Unfortunately, even if you do all of the things mentioned above, there’s no guarantee that the dentist will be able to reinsert the tooth. If this is the case, you may want to consider some of the alternatives.
One of the most common solutions for a missing tooth is a dental implant. For those that don’t know, a dental implant is a human-made tooth (or, in some cases, a row of teeth) that is surgically implanted into a person’s jawline.
Dental implants offer the same amount of stability and functionality as natural teeth. This gives your smile a fuller, healthier appearance. The only downside to dental implants is that you can’t remove them.
If you’d like to be able to remove your fake tooth (or teeth), you should consider getting a set of removable partial dentures. Removable partials look and feel natural in your mouth. They are also relatively easy to get used to, making them the ideal option for people who are missing a small number of teeth. You can even get partial dentures for back teeth!
When you’re dealing with your oral health, you should always work with the best — look for reliable and experienced denturists, like the team at Koster Denture Clinic.
Professional denturists can help you choose the right dentures and answer any questions that you may have about the different types of partial dentures that are available. Many denturists also offer additional services like free consultations and check-ups.
This step is crucial — if you want to reduce the risk of losing one of your teeth, be sure to use the following tips:
Brush and Floss Regularly
Many people tend to overlook the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth. Brushing your teeth should be an essential part of your everyday routine — in fact, if you want the best results, you should aim to brush two to three times a day!
When you brush your teeth, you remove germs and bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. This helps improve your oral health and keeps your breath fresh.
Some experts feel that flossing is more important than brushing; although this statement is slightly controversial, you should still aim to floss at least once a day. Dental floss can reach plaque and bacteria that are hiding in areas that a toothbrush can’t access.
Wear a Mouthguard
As mentioned earlier, you can accidentally lose one of your teeth while playing sports; sports-related tooth injuries can happen to both professional and recreational athletes.
Many sports, like basketball, don’t require players to wear any protective headgear. This leaves players’ faces fully exposed and unprotected.
However, this doesn’t mean that a helmet will always protect your teeth. If you are too aggressive or make the wrong move, you may accidentally fall and damage your teeth.
To minimize the risk of losing a tooth, many athletes wear a mouthguard. For the best results, look for a customizable mouthguard — these products are made out of a malleable material that molds itself to the unique shape of your jawline.
Losing an adult tooth can be stressful, but it’s also preventable! If you want to learn more about the causes, treatment options or ways you can protect your teeth, get in contact with your local dentist or oral health professional.