If you’re missing a tooth, you’re not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that approximately 178 million adults are missing at least one tooth, and about 40 million are missing all of their teeth.
While you can’t always avoid tooth loss, particularly when it’s due to trauma, sports injuries, or automobile accidents, you have many strategies to reduce your risk of tooth loss.
Take a moment as Dr. Ed Trizzino and the team at Smiles of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, share the best ways to prevent tooth loss.
Common causes of adult tooth loss
Before you can formulate a plan to prevent tooth loss, it’s important to review the potential causes. Tooth loss can be related to:
- Sports injuries
- Traumatic events, including car accidents
- Gum disease
- Oral infections
- Severe decay that compromises the integrity of the tooth
During your routine dental exams, Dr. Trizzino reviews your oral health history to pinpoint some of your specific risk factors for tooth loss.
How to prevent adult tooth loss
Preventing tooth loss requires a multi-faceted approach that takes into account all of your risk factors. Your prevention plan may include:
Improving your at-home oral care routine
Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, floss daily to remove plaque between teeth, and incorporate an antiseptic mouthwash for added protection against bacteria. This can help prevent tooth loss related to decay, gum tissue, and oral infections.
Treating gingivitis as soon as possible
Gum disease — the No. 1 cause of adult tooth loss — often starts with gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease, and thankfully, it’s a reversible condition. Common signs of gingivitis include gums that are tender, red, or bleeding.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which damages the supporting structures of your teeth. Prompt treatment and management of gum disease can help you avoid tooth loss.
Kicking the tobacco habit
Smoking and other uses of tobacco products significantly increase your risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Quitting these habits not only benefits your overall health but also reduces your risk of tooth loss.
Protecting your teeth from accidental avulsions
Accidents and trauma can lead to tooth loss. Take precautions to protect your teeth during activities such as sports by using a mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, consider using a night guard to prevent wear and tear.
In the event that your tooth is injured beyond repair, Dr. Trizzino may recommend an extraction as the best path forward. Although it’s always ideal to keep your natural teeth, sometimes accidents happen. Dr. Trizzino can also walk you through all of your replacement options.
Managing underlying health conditions
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can impact your oral health and increase your risk of tooth loss. Work closely with your primary care team to manage medical conditions effectively.
Eating a well-balanced diet
With his holistic approach, Dr. Trizzino knows firsthand that what you eat affects your overall health, and that includes the health of your teeth.
Limit sugary and acidic foods, which can contribute to tooth decay and potentially tooth loss. Include calcium-rich foods for strong teeth and gums. You can find calcium in dairy products, spinach, fortified juice, and canned salmon.
Dr. Trizzino can also recommend specific nutritional guidance for you, including vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamin D3, vitamin K2, calcium, and magnesium are just a few nutrients that are good for your teeth.
Replace missing teeth
If you do experience tooth loss, seek prompt dental restoration here in our Atlanta office. Dental implants, bridges, and dentures are effective solutions that not only restore your smile but also prevent issues like shifting teeth and jawbone loss.
Do you need to speak with us? Call our office at 770-407-8459 to speak with our friendly staff. You can also book your next appointment online.