Most of us know at least one person with missing teeth. Maybe you’re the one missing a few of these deep-rooted masticating oral structures.
But how do people generally lose those teeth? And what options do they have to replace them?
Tooth Replacement Options
These are some of the most commonly used tooth replacement options:
If you’re looking for a permanent solution that looks and functions like your natural teeth, dental implants in Hartford are an ideal choice. Dental implants require a brief surgical procedure in which a permanent post is implanted directly into your jawbone. Once this becomes a complete part of your jaw, it can be used to support an artificial tooth that looks and functions like your natural missing tooth. This is designed to be a permanent fixture that doesn’t require further modification or maintenance; all you have to do is take care of it the way you would a normal tooth, with daily brushing and flossing.
Fixed bridges depend on surrounding teeth to restore lost functionality to your mouth. In this procedure, an oral surgeon may grind down your teeth and attach the bridge to them, filling the gap made by your missing tooth and allowing you to resume eating like normal.
Dentures are designed to replace your missing teeth, but only on a temporary basis. You’ll need to remove your dentures periodically to clean and maintain them. Depending on how many teeth you’re missing, you may qualify for full dentures or partial dentures. Unfortunately, dentures have many downsides – especially when compared to dental implants – but they also tend to be relatively inexpensive.
The Most Common Ways People Lose Teeth
These are some of the most common ways that people lose their teeth:
1. Sports (and other accidents)
Every year, people lose a combined 5 million teeth during sports and similarly risky activities. If you fall and hit your mouth on the ground, or if you sustain a direct impact to your face or mouth, you could easily break or lose multiple teeth. This is obviously a bigger risk in contact sports, but almost any recreational activity comes with a small risk of tooth loss. If you want to protect yourself, wear a properly fitted mouth guard at all times during these activities.
Some people lose teeth because of grinding. If you grind your teeth due to stress or at night, it can cause significant damage, especially if you do this habitually over time. There are solutions that can help you grind less or protect your teeth during grinding, such as wearing a mouth guard at night; ask your dentist for further recommendations.
3. Periodontal disease
Gum disease can affect your teeth in many different ways. If you suffer from periodontal disease, and you don’t treat it proactively, you may eventually lose the teeth seated in these gums.
4. Smoking and tobacco use
Anyone who uses tobacco products and anyone who smokes regularly should understand the risks of these products. If you use illicit substances like these habitually, it can weaken your teeth and cause significant oral health complications.
5. Autoimmune disorders
Certain autoimmune disorders can cause you to lose your teeth. For example, in Sjogren’s syndrome, your immune system can affect the salivary glands, reducing the amount of saliva you produce. Autoimmune disorders are a kind of malfunctioning of your body’s natural immune system; instead of attacking genuine threats (like bacteria or viruses), your immune system turns on your very body. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent autoimmune disorders; some people are genetically predisposed to have them.
As you get older, your teeth are going to naturally deteriorate, just like the rest of your body. If you take great care of your teeth, you can mitigate this process, but there is no way to permanently halt or reverse aging. If you live long enough, you’re probably going to start to lose teeth.
Of course, many people lose teeth simply due to neglect. If you know anything about oral health, you know how important it is to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash daily. You also know it’s important to visit the dentist periodically. If you skip these steps, and allow your dental health to deteriorate, losing teeth is a practical inevitability.
As you can see, most of these opportunities for tooth loss are preventable. If you wear the proper equipment, if you practice good oral hygiene, and if you attend your dentistry appointments regularly, you should be at relatively low risk for losing a tooth.
If you do lose any teeth, keep in mind that there are many replacement options available to you, including permanent options like dental implants that look and feel like your natural teeth.
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