Tooth loss in adults can occur from decay, infection, or blunt force trauma. The leading cause of tooth loss is due to infection of the gum tissue known as periodontal disease. Studies tell us that the average American has lost twelve permanent teeth by the age 50. Losing teeth not only affects your smile, but can also alter your bite, how you chew and even your confidence. At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, we can help you keep your natural teeth, or restore them with the next best option. Your smile matters.
Dental health and education is changing. Increasingly patients are keeping their teeth longer. Additionally people are living longer, meaning we need to maximize the time we have with our natural teeth, or consider long term replacement options that are good for our bone health and oral health. Today, 70% of tooth loss in adults is still attributed to chronic periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is a more severe degree of gum disease. It is an active bacterial infection of the gum tissue that is raging out of control. Everyone is susceptible to periodontal disease, but some patients can increase the likelihood from problems such as dry mouth, smoking tobacco or marijuana and more.
Gum disease occurs from not removing plaque through regular brushing and flossing. Plaque contains sugars, bacteria feeds on the sugars, and the acid the bacteria then emits can destroy soft and hard tissue. This can be combated through a good home oral health routine and regular dental cleanings. Most adult cleaning appointments today include scaling using an ultrasonic scaler, which is similar to a pressure washing for your teeth and gums.
Are Missing Teeth a Problem?
Missing teeth can cause problems with chewing, changes to your alignment and changes in your smile. One missing tooth may not seem problematic, but you may choose to chew primarily on the other side creating uneven wear, you may see shifting from neighboring teeth which can affect how your mouth opens and closes, and you may feel self conscious how it looks. Filling the space is the best option for your oral health.
When Tooth Loss Occurs
If you have lost one or more teeth, it is important to seek dental care for restoration. You will be presented with options including a dental bridge, Maryland bonded bridge, a partial denture, or full denture. Today, we have a treatment option that can restore more than the missing tooth, it can restore the tooth root, restoring the connection between the jawbone and tooth. This is done using a dental implant.
A dental implant is a device that we can surgically insert in your bone to serve as a solid post in your mouth to attach a dental prosthetic to. It mimics the natural root, creating a direct link between your jawbone and tooth. This is good for your bone health as well as your natural function.
You may also lose a tooth through tooth extraction, this typically occurs when decay damage is too significant to save the tooth or if the patient has impacted wisdom teeth.
Patients with multiple missing teeth can benefit greatly from restoration using dental implants. Missing teeth is not good for your supporting bone, it leads to atrophy, and eventually alterations to your facial shape. We can stop these changes, and support your bone with dental implants.