Dentures are always associated with the elderly, but does that mean tooth loss is an unavoidable fact of getting older? No, it does not! With adequate care and dental treatments, the factors that most commonly lead to tooth loss can now be prevented, so you can keep your teeth for life.
With a diligent devotion to oral health, more and more people can manage the conditions that lead to tooth loss and hold onto their teeth well into their golden years.
At Platinum Dental Care, we want all our patients to have healthy teeth and gums. No matter what the state of your current oral health, we will help you get back on track and preserve your teeth for as long as possible. If you do lose teeth, we offer dental implants and other prosthetic options for tooth replacement.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
The primary cause of tooth loss is gum disease, or periodontitis. This condition results from bacterial infection of the gums, which, over a period of years, can cause gum recession and weaken the dental ligaments. Similar to the earth that surrounds the roots of a tree, healthy gum tissue is needed for stabilizing tooth roots. When gum tissue is damaged by bacteria it can loosen the teeth and cause decay in the roots. Over time, advancing decay and a reduction of healthy gum tissue can cause teeth to become unstable and require extraction.
Gum disease is not curable, but there are treatments now that can lessen the severity of its symptoms. At Platinum Dental Care, we offer a full range of periodontal treatments in our Lawrence Park office, to help manage your symptoms and reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Additionally, there are also several important dental hygiene steps you should take to prevent the onset of gum disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
If you wish to avoid a gum disease diagnosis, the following habits should be a part of your life:
- Brush and Floss Daily – This may seem obvious, as most of us do this already, but flossing daily truly is the best way to remove bacteria from the gum tissue. Maintaining daily flossing is especially important because lapses can lead to bleeding gums, which may make you want to floss even less. If traditional flossing is hard for you, there are alternatives available, such as oral irrigators and end-tufted brushes, which can accomplish the same goals. Ask your dentist about these alternatives.
- Avoid Tobacco Products and Excessive Alcohol Consumption – Both alcohol and tobacco products irritate gum tissue, and can weaken your mouth’s ability to fend off bacteria. They can also make you less likely to experience the red-flag symptoms that indicate gum disease (such as bleeding gums). In addition to gum disease, tobacco and alcohol can also lead to oral cancers.
- Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months – This is easily the most important step in managing gum disease. Patients who miss dental appointments or go for years without dental care are most at risk of developing silent gum disease. They may not even know the disease is progressing until teeth are already damaged beyond repair. Regular biannual visits let us monitor the health of your teeth and gums and address symptom in their earliest stages, so lasting damage can be minimized.
- Take A Gum Disease or Gingivitis Diagnosis Seriously – If you’ve been told you have gingivitis or periodontitis, you need to see a dentist regularly to monitor and treat your symptoms. Consider your dentist’s recommendations to be absolutely necessary to preserving the structure and function of your teeth.
If You Have Already Lost a Tooth
Losing one tooth makes you more likely to lose more teeth down the road. Gaps in your teeth can cause your healthy teeth to drift into a state of misalignment that may lead to inefficient chewing, cracks in your enamel and other factors that weaken your teeth. It can also initiate the loss of bone mass in the jaw.
To prevent the loss of further teeth, we generally recommend a dental implant and crown to permanently replace your missing tooth. Dental implants can help you replace the tooth that has been lost and maintain your alignment for healthy dentition. Implants can also help you preserve bone mass in the jaw for healthier long-term dental function.
Call Our Toronto Dentists For Tooth Replacement Options
Contact our Lawrence Park, Toronto dental office to learn more about tooth loss prevention or tooth replacement options. Together we can help you stay in a state of good oral health and keep your teeth for life!