Do you know someone who has suffered with tooth loss? If so, you’re probably familiar with the detrimental effects tooth loss can have on one’s quality of life. Tooth loss causes pain that is both physical and psychological:
- Speaking is difficult, seriously impaired, or even painful
- Difficulty or pain when chewing food
- Changes to the shape of your face, making it appear to droop, and making you look much older
- Loss of bone density in the jaw, and the area closest to where the tooth once was
- Misalignment of the jaws, which may result in damage to otherwise healthy teeth, creating an opportunity for infection and disease
- Increasing malocclusion of the teeth (teeth that are out of place; the gaps created by missing teeth allows remaining teeth to move out of their correct position)
In our dental practice in Kennewick, WA, we have the ability to repair the problems that result from missing teeth. Solutions include dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. However, we also put an emphasis on prevention as well.
Do you know the causes of tooth loss?
Tooth loss can as a result of injury (causing an avulsion, or breaking of a tooth or teeth); while it isn’t practical to protect your teeth from injury all the time, you should wear a mouthguard when you’re engaged in activities where a tooth injury is possible, such as athletics. Many people neglect to protect their teeth from injury during sports; in fact, it is actually not even a requirement in some major sports organizations for players to wear protection! Many people are often surprised to learn that the most dangerous sport for your teeth isn’t hockey (or even boxing), but basketball (although anyone who has ever taken an elbow to the face from a big center downtown would probably agree).
Injuries are common and we see them in our practice often. The overwhelming majority of tooth loss however is due to disease, or tooth decay (leading to cavities, which uncheck will result in the total destruction of the tooth, requiring an extraction to prevent further threats to your oral and overall health). There are of course many diseases that can lead to tooth loss, but the number one disease (and cause) of tooth loss is advanced gum disease, or periodontitis.
How Do I Prevent Tooth Loss Caused By Gum Disease?
Periodontitis is a very serious problem; besides tooth loss, it will also destroy your jawbone by degrading its bone density. Even if you are ready to address a tooth loss problem with a dental implant, if your tooth loss is due to gum disease, you may not even have enough bone in your jaw to receive an implant (though there are ways to fix this so that you can get the treatment you want. Most frequently this is a bone graft, or the transplantation of bone from one part of your body to another; in this case, your jaw).
The incredible thing about gum disease is just how easily preventable it is! If you want to avoid gum disease (and the tooth loss that follows), the best thing you can do is maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day, and seeing your dentist for cleanings and examinations twice a year. Other factors also play a role in your chance of getting gum disease, but if you are disciplined about the care of your teeth, it is likely not to be a problem for you.
What Preventive Dentistry Options Do You Offer?
Marineland Dental offers deep cleanings and examinations to keep your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues in tip-top shape. Because gum disease is such a huge problem, we have created a specific program of care designed to prevent, or even halt the progress of gum disease. This not only includes teeth cleaning and polishing, but also education on how to optimize your oral health maintenance routine. We can also provide you with nutritional counseling to help your gums and teeth to be strong and more resistant to disease.
If you have a cavity, we offer tooth-colored composite fillings that blend in with the natural color and shade of your teeth, leaving no trace or clue that you ever had a problem at all!
Infected teeth must be addressed with endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal. Today, a root canal is no more uncomfortable than a tooth filling, and we can even provide you an aesthetically pleasing, durable crown made of porcelain (which is always required after a root canal to ensure that the tooth is protected from disease and has the structural strength it needs to do its job). Porcelain is an ideal material for dental restorations because of its beauty and strength, as well as being hypoallergenic and stain-resistant.
Has It Been A While Since You’ve Seen Your Dentist?
Prevention of tooth loss, or any negative outcome for your oral health, starts with calling your dentist for an examination to learn where your oral health stands, and a consultation on all the options available to you if you need restoration.
Call us today! Dial 509-591-0515, or click here to reach our online appointment form.