Tooth loss isn’t a genetic issue; if your parents have lost teeth, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re likely to lose teeth, as well. However, propensities for certain oral health conditions, such as gum disease, can be hereditary, and those conditions can lead to tooth loss when not prevented or addressed. To gauge how serious your risks of tooth loss may be, your dentist will perform a careful examination of your teeth and oral tissues during every routine checkup appointment. If you are at risk, then he can recommend an appropriate treatment plan to lessen that risk and improve your chances of preserving your healthy, natural smile.
Do you have gum disease?
Severe gum disease, or periodontitis, is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States, and neglecting treatment is one of the main reasons why. Gum disease begins as an infection in your gums known as gingivitis, which gradually grows worse, destroying your gums and jawbone structure. At first, however, gingivitis can seem relatively minor, so many patients ignore it until severe damage has already occurred. If your dentist detects gingivitis during your examination, then you should undergo appropriate periodontal treatment as soon as possible to prevent increased risks of tooth loss.
Is one or more of your teeth decaying?
If you have a cavity, then it’s highly likely that you’ll feel the toothache, and therefore fill the cavity, before extensive tooth damage occurs. However, if your tooth is cracked or broken, or if a cavity has been allowed to remain long enough, then the decay can reach the sensitive nerves and tissues inside of the tooth’s pulp. These tissues keep your tooth supplied with necessary nutrients and provide all sensory information for the tooth. When infected, the risks of losing the tooth are exponentially higher (though root canal treatment can typically save the tooth from having to be extracted, if performed early enough).
Have you already lost one or more teeth?
If you’ve already lost one or more teeth, then your risks of losing more are already higher. With every tooth lost, your jawbone receives fewer nutrients, and can eventually erode due to malnutrition. The weaker jawbone structure will have trouble supporting the rest of your teeth, and you may lose more before you realize how drastically your jawbone has changed. Dental implants can often mitigate this risk by replacing the roots of lost teeth, which reestablish the stimulation that keeps your jawbone strong, healthy, and able to support your remaining natural teeth.
If You’re At-Risk for Tooth Loss
If you currently exhibit symptoms of dental disease, such as periodontitis, then you may be at a heightened risk of losing one or more teeth. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Just Wright Dental Surgery Center in Waxahachie, TX, today at (469) 732-1987. We also proudly serve patients from Navarro County, TX, and the surrounding communities, including Corsicana, Mildred, Eureka, Ennis, Fairfield, Teague, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Hubbard, Hillsboro, Mexia, Groesbeck, Kerens, Malakoff, Rice, Centerville, Buffalo, and Athens.