Important Things to Know About Tooth Loss

older gentleman in thoughtYou know your smile looks different than before, and that might be enough to prompt you to replace your lost teeth, but tooth loss’ effects are far more significant than what you can see. Despite how often it occurs, one of the most important things you should know about tooth loss is that it’s not an inevitable part of aging. Adult teeth were meant to last a lifetime, and with a healthy understanding of how teeth are lost, you may stand a better chance of retaining yours permanently.

Contrary to Belief, It’s Preventable

Teeth don’t fall out because they grow old. On the contrary, people lose teeth when the structures that support them are severely damaged or diseased. The most common cause of adult tooth loss, gum disease, destroys gum tissue and the jawbone that supports your teeth by their roots. A traumatic injury can force the tooth’s root out of its socket within your jawbone, damaging or breaking the periodontal ligaments that hold it in place. Accidents may be difficult to prevent, but keeping your mouth clean and disease-free with good hygiene and professional dentistry will significantly reduce your risks of permanent tooth loss.

How You Replace Lost Teeth Matters

Like your natural teeth, your replacement teeth serve several different functions. A dental bridge, partial, or full denture helps close the gap left in your smile by missing teeth, which can restore your confidence as well your ability to bite and chew properly. Replacing your lost teeth’s roots, however, is equally as important as replacing their crowns, and can only be achieved with one or more dental implants. The small, titanium devices are surgically inserted into the jawbone, and can support your replacement teeth the way roots support your natural teeth.

Untreated Root Loss Breeds Further Tooth Loss

Teeth roots and dental implants, which rest in sockets in your jawbone, are stimulated by pressure every time your bite and chew. The stimulation helps facilitate a healthy flow of nutrients to your jawbone to keep it strong and healthy enough to sustain your teeth. Following the loss of teeth and their roots, patients often experience loss of jawbone density, and over time, further tooth loss as the jaw becomes weaker. Rebuilding your smile with a dental implant-supported prosthesis helps preserve your jawbone’s integrity and your long-term oral health.

About Your Livonia General Dentist:

To learn more about the variety of dental services we offer, including expert restorative care and dental implant restorations, visit us as soon as possible for a thorough examination. James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.