As people age and the teeth begin to wear down, most expect that they will experience some minor cosmetic flaws. However, many are not expecting that they will have to deal with missing teeth. Unfortunately, adult tooth loss is far more common than most people imagine. There are several factors that contribute to adult tooth loss, making it one of the most common oral health problems for adults. Dr. Michael A. Pikos and our team of oral surgeons offer dental implants to replace missing teeth with strong, secure dental restorations. No matter the causes of missing teeth, these restorations offer our patients an opportunity to restore the strength, function, and beauty of their smile.
Causes of Tooth Loss
Most patients hope that a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental exams will be enough to preserve the health of the teeth, and in most cases, that is true. However, not everyone maintains the good dental habits that they should, and the health of the teeth and gums is likely to suffer as a result. Unfortunately, even in cases where patients are careful about the care of their teeth, there are sometimes unavoidable circumstances that can lead to tooth loss. While the reasons behind tooth loss vary, there are some factors that are known to commonly contribute to missing teeth, including the following:
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay is generally seen as a minor dental problem, and, if it is caught early enough, it shouldn’t pose a big threat to the health of the teeth. However, dental decay that is left untreated only continues to progress and can eventually compromise the tooth to the point that it is lost.
- Erosion: Erosion is similar to decay in that it gradually breaks down tooth enamel and weakens the strength and health of the tooth. However, erosion is the result of a high level of acids in the mouth, rather than a large number of bacteria. Fortunately, erosion can be treated in the same way that decay can, but without treatment, erosion may eventually lead to tooth loss.
- Infection: When the inner layer of the tooth becomes exposed as a result of worn down tooth enamel, the risk of infection increases greatly. Once the inner layer of tooth pulp becomes infected, the only way to save it is through a root canal infection. However, there are cases in which the infection cannot be adequately treated and the tooth may be lost or require extraction.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is a term that is used to describe an infection of the gum tissue. If the condition is left untreated, the infection will get worse and the gums are likely to begin to recede or pull away from the teeth. This can lead to loose, unstable teeth, and eventually tooth loss.
- Oral injury: Not all causes of tooth loss are progressive. Many patients suffer from sudden oral injuries, such as a fall or blow to the face that can either knock a tooth out completely, or damage it to the point that extraction is the best treatment option.
Treating Missing Teeth
The good news for patients who have experienced adult tooth loss is that it is a condition that can be treated. There is no question that the strongest, most durable, and secure restoration for missing teeth is dental implants. Dr. Pikos is happy to discuss dental implant treatment with his patients in further detail to determine if they are ideal candidates for this effective restorative dental treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
No matter what may cause missing teeth, the important thing is to seek treatment before the rest of the teeth are compromised. To learn more about dental implant treatment and whether it is right for you, schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons. We have locations in Palm Harbor, Spring Hill, and Trinity for your convenience.
Contact us today to schedule your oral surgery or dental implant consultation at our Palm Harbor, Spring Hill, or Trinity locations.
CALL 1-800-NEW-LOOK (Outside Florida: 727-877-0011)