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Common Causes Of Missing Teeth – How To Avoid Them And How They Can Be Treated

01 Feb 2017

Our teeth are made to last a lifetime, however due to environmental and consumer changes, they are not lasting as long as they are meant to. High sugar foods and drink, busy lifestyles and environmental hazards are causing us to lose our teeth. However, there are some simple ways for you to look after your teeth to ensure they last you your lifetime.

Listed below are the most common causes of missing teeth, how to avoid them and how they can be treated

 

Decay
What is decay? Tooth decay is caused by a white sticky substance called plaque. The plaque digests the sugars in your mouth and secretes acid that corrodes your enamel and dentine if not removed daily.

How can you avoid tooth decay? Brush twice daily, floss once daily, have regular dental check-ups (every 6 months!), reduce sugary and starchy foods and avoid snacking between meals.

How can tooth decay be treated? The key to treating tooth decay is get it treated before it gets too extensive. Leaving tooth decay for prolonged periods of time may cause you to have more extensive treatment, such as root canal treatment, or even removal of the tooth. Having teeth replaced that have been previously been removed is unfortunately now an everyday treatment. There are several ways to replace missing teeth, such as dental bridges, implants and removable dentures. Your dentist may also suggest putting a protective covering over the fissures of your teeth as a preventive measure before you experience decay at all. This treatment is common for children when their first and second permanent molars erupt. Having a regular 6 monthly check-up with your dentist will ensure that if you do get tooth decay it will be picked up early and treated fairly painlessly and easily.

Injuries
What kinds of injuries can lead to missing teeth? Sports injuries and accidents involving the mouth or jaw are the most common types of injuries that can lead to missing teeth.

How can dental trauma be prevented? Unfortunately there is no way of preventing dental accidents unless you wear a mouth guard and protective helmet all day, everyday. However this is not a feasible option during day to day life. When playing contact sports it is imperative that either a helmet and/or mouth guard is worn. Wearing a custom-made mouth guard is the best way of preventing dental injuries during contact and collision sports during both practice and competitions. If you intend to participate in these types of sports, you should book in an appointment with your dentist for a custom-made mouth guard.

Types of dental trauma and what to do:

Broken tooth

  • If the nerve is exposed cover it with sterile gauze
  • Call your dentist straight away

Loose tooth

  • Cold compression such as an icepack or wet face washer on the area
  • Try to place the tooth correctly into the socket
  • Call your dentist straight away

Knocked out/ Lost tooth

  • Call your dentist straight away
  • Hold the tooth by the crown (not the pointed end)
  • Rinse the tooth with Milk or saline and attempt to place the tooth back into the socket position. Keep secure by biting on a piece of gauze or hold until your dentist can see it.
  • If the tooth cannot be put back into the socket hold the tooth in the sulcus of the cheek until you see your dentist or store in saline or milk. Do not use normal water as the bacteria may affect the nerve of the tooth, which will reduce the future vitality of the tooth. Do not let the tooth dry out.

Periodontal disease
What is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease is an infection of your surrounding structures including your gum, ligaments and bone, and is the leading cause of tooth losses in Australia, with around 53% of the population over 65 having the disease.

How do I avoid periodontal disease? Maintaining optimum dental health is the only way to prevent this disease. Brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and regular checks with your dentist and hygienist should hopefully keep this at bay. There are also some medical conditions that can increase your chances of having periodontal disease such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy, smoking and various medications can all be contributing factors.

How can periodontal disease be treated? Only a professional can treat severe periodontal disease. Treatments such as your routine dental checks, hygiene visits and your home maintenance are imperative in keeping the disease at bay. If you are experiencing red, swollen or bleeding gums while brushing or eating please consult your dentist. This may be the start of periodontitis and can be treated quickly and easily at this stage!

Hypodontia
What is Hypodontia? Hypodontia is a condition in which someone is born with congenitally missing teeth due to not developing normally in the womb. There is no way to avoid Hypodontia as it is a congenital predisposition.

How can Hypodontia be treated? In some cases Hypodontia does not need to be treated. This all depends on the patient’s aesthetics, function and confidence. In general, orthodontics to open or close space in the affected area is necessary with implants or bridges inserted into the space if opened. If Hypodontia has affected you, you may need to seek a dentist’s or orthodontist’s opinion to see what can be done in your case.

If you have missing teeth, Bond Street Dental can help!

Call us today for an appointment to determine the optimum course of treatment for your circumstances and move towards a happier, healthier and more confident you!

There are many causes for missing teeth. Even though some are accidental, most people who lose teeth prematurely experience this loss due to a lack of dental hygiene. To ensure good dental health, a patient must brush the teeth at least twice a day, floss and use a good mouthwash after each meal. By doing this, they can protect their teeth longer and keep them strong enough to withstand damage caused by food, plaque and other factors that could cause tooth decay. Of course, dental hygiene must also be accompanied by regular appointments with the dentist and dental hygienist, since these professionals can evaluate the presence of an underlying problem before they cost you your teeth.

Patients who have lost teeth in the past can get permanent replacement teeth through a dental implant treatment, which is also available at the Bond Street Dental Clinic. Dental implants are permanent replacements for the roots of the teeth. Once these implants have fused with the jawbone, the dentist can attach your replacement teeth to these dental implants with abutments. Of course, such a treatment does require enough jawbone, but there is an alternative dental implant for patients with insufficient jawbone for normal dental implants – the All-On-4 dental implant treatment. For more information about dental implants and All-On-4 dental implants, please refer to our information pages or contact our clinic to speak to a staff member in person.

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