Although incredibly resilient, and meant to last a lifetime, your teeth aren’t indestructible. In fact, they require your constant care and attention to remain formidable. Otherwise, severe dental disease or damage can threaten their existence, and since you only grow one set of permanent teeth, preserving them should be a top priority. Below, we examine a few common reasons for permanent tooth loss, and what you should do if or when you lose a tooth.
Tooth decay affects over 90% of adults in the United States, and the cavities it causes can destroy a significant portion of your tooth structure. Nevertheless, the leading cause of permanent tooth loss is severe gum disease, which attacks the foundation that supports your teeth, rather than your teeth directly. Left untreated, gum disease can progress beyond your gum tissue and infect your jawbone, which holds your teeth by their roots.
Cracks and fractures can be caused by an immediate accidental impact or from exposure to excessive stress (like teeth-grinding). However, sometimes an impact can completely uproot a tooth from its socket, causing immediate tooth loss. A knocked-out tooth can often be saved if prompt action is taken, but if not, then speak with your dentist about your options after tooth loss.
If disease costs you a tooth, then treating and controlling the infection is the first step to restoring your smile. After your smile is disease-free, your dentist may advise replacing your lost tooth with a dental implant-supported crown. A dental implant can serve as a prosthetic tooth root to support your replacement crown as securely as a natural tooth root.