Tooth loss due to injury whether in children or adults should be addressed promptly by a Prosthodontist because loss of a tooth or teeth leads to other related problems like:
- Mobility of adjacent teeth- the loss of a tooth creates a gap and the adjacent teeth become loose or ‘mobile’. This can loosen the other teeth also.
- Gaps between teeth – gaps between the teeth retain food and cause bacterial infections affecting the mouth and digestion
- Speech changes- Whistling noises because of air passing through the gaps in the teeth. Sometimes food particles fly out too.
- Change in Facial appearance- The cheek may cave in or look sunken
- Sensitivity- The teeth may get painful with hot or cold foods.
A prosthodontist will advise on the kind of tooth replacement which will be suitable
What causes of tooth loss in adults?
- Accidents/injuries- Facial injuries occur in many accidents like a fall from a swing or slide, accidental slipping, collisions, sports accidents. Tooth loss /breakage are very common in facial injuries. Sometimes, broken teeth need to be removed and replaced with a dental bridge or a tooth implant as per the advice of the Prosthodontist
- Gum disease- gingivitis or gum disease causes loss of teeth and tooth replacement may be advised
- Poor oral hygiene- Poor oral hygiene causes gum infection and gum erosion. Gums hold the teeth and loss of gum weakens the tooth which leads to tooth loss
- Dietary and eating habits-Drinking too many sugary beverages, acidic foods, not chewing enough, and eating harmful and hard foods can cause teeth loss
- Diabetes- Diabetics are very prone to all infections especially in the mouth. Infections get aggravated and serious causing loss of teeth
- Smoking and consuming tobacco products- These products cause loss of teeth and are very harmful to the body
Children can have tooth loss because of :
- Injury- a fall is the most common way of tooth loss in children
- Bad oral hygiene-Children must be taught oral hygiene right from age two at least. Otherwise they might end up losing teeth earlier than the normal age
- Chewing pencils- Chewing a pencil can be a sign of nervousness or extreme concentration in a child and can be disastrous for the teeth of children because the jaws and gums are still very tender.
- Grinding teeth- Is a common habit in children and adults and could result in loss of teeth
Effects of tooth loss
- Tooth decay- Food stuck in gaps can cause bacterial infections and tooth decay
- Bad breath – Bacteria in the mouth cause bad breath. Bad breath is unhealthy and unsocial
- Caries- Teeth start disintegrating due to infections and inflammations
- Gum disease or gingivitis
- Mouth sores- are also caused by bad oral hygiene and bacterial infections
- Tooth erosion- Teeth are the strongest factors in the human body but even these can get eroded by bacteria formed by bad oral hygiene
- Sensitivity in the teeth
With advancement in medical science and technology today there is a wide choice of treatment options for tooth replacement like
- Dental implants- are surgical interventions to replace a lost tooth.
- Dental bridge-The prosthodontist replaces the lost teeth with a bridge which is fixed to the adjacent healthy teeth. A bridge could replace either a single tooth or even a set f 2-4 teeth
- Dental crown- A crown is fixed to the tooth as protection and to avoid further damage. The crown protects and saves the tooth from further damage
- Dentures – are a removable set of teeth created to replace broken, lost or defective teeth. We normally associate Dentures with old grandparents who would take them out and soak them in a glass of water overnight. But today technology has changed to such an extent that it is difficult to recognize a dentures from original teeth
It is always good to consult the best and most capable Dental Hospital that has qualified and experienced Dentists, Prosthodontists who can assess your condition and prescribe and carry out the best treatment for you.
Tips for Dental Care
Never use the teeth for
- Removing lids -bottle lids, tops or caps,
- Cracking- hard stuff like shells of nuts, ice cubes, chewing on pencils or pens
- Holding on to clothes hangers in the mouth
- Cutting thread, tearing tags, undoing knots
Always Maintain the Best Oral Hygiene
- Keep teeth clean by brushing at least twice a day.
- Consult a dentist for any tooth issues as soon as they appear.
- Inculcate oral hygiene in children from the time the first tooth sprouts.
A person may die but the teeth are so strong that they never die even if they are dental implants or bridges. Always look after your teeth and oral hygiene to prevent internal ailments and appearance issues.