What Causes Tooth Loss?

What Causes Tooth Loss?

What Causes Tooth Loss?

Tooth loss is an unfortunate problem for many people. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Tooth loss can happen due to various reasons. Listed below are some of the major causes of tooth loss.

  • Tooth decay

Oral bacteria feed on the sugars and starches that you eat. When these sugars and starches are left on your teeth, the bacteria feed on the sugars and produce acid as a byproduct. This acid eats away at your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. Cavities are one of the most common causes of tooth damage. Without proper treatment, cavities can weaken your teeth and lead to tooth loss.

  • Gum disease 

When your gums become infected or inflamed, they may pull away from your teeth and cause pockets where plaque and food particles can become trapped. Over time, the tissue and bones that support your teeth can be destroyed, leading to tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

  • Eating disorders 

Unhealthy eating habits can lead to poor oral health as well. In addition to increasing your risk of tooth decay, your eating habits can also impact the health of your gums and may increase your risk for gum disease and tooth loss.

  • Mouth trauma 

Accidents happen in life, and sometimes they can result in the loss of a tooth. If you are in an accident that results in a blow to the mouth, be sure to seek immediate dental treatment. The sooner that you have the tooth replaced, the better chance you have of saving it.

  • Smoking 

Tobacco use of any kind can cause a variety of health issues, including oral cancer, cancer in the throat, and gum disease. Smoking also decreases your body’s ability to heal after oral surgery, so quitting now could help you prevent future tooth loss.

  • Medication side effects 

Many medications used to treat various conditions can have side effects of dry mouth. A dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay by causing food to stick to your teeth. A dentist can help you manage your medication and minimize the risk of unwanted side effects.

  • Oral cancer

There are several types of oral cancer, but the most common is squamous cell carcinoma. This type of oral cancer affects lips and skin tissue, including the lining of the mouth and gums. 

Secondly, there is the less common type of oral cancer called malignant melanoma, which affects the mucous membranes inside the mouth. This type is more common in men than in women and usually develops in people over age 50. Oral cancer can result in tooth loss.

Visit Georgetown Cosmetic Dentistry at 2440 M Street, NW, Suite 328, Washington, DC 20037, or call (202) 785-4141 to learn more about tips to maintain a healthy smile.


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