Millions of Americans have missing teeth. Losing one or more teeth can leave you struggling with the changed aesthetic of your smile, your usual oral functions, and a heightened risk of certain dental problems. But older dental patients might also need to worry about the effect of tooth loss on their cognitive function.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association suggests that senior-aged people with missing teeth will see a higher risk of cognitive impairment, though the exact reason for this correlation remains undetermined. So if you want to eliminate this risk factor for cognitive decline, you should not ignore missing teeth.
A dentist can help you find personalized treatment to restore your smile in the wake of tooth loss. But understanding the reasons you may lose a tooth in the first place can help you preserve your smile. Read on to learn details about the causes of tooth loss as well as dental solutions to replace missing teeth.
Common Causes of Tooth Loss
The leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease, a common oral infection that affects the gum tissue. Its early stage presents with inflamed gums. But as the infection advances, it will deteriorate the gum tissue, teeth, and jawbone to the extent that the teeth may fall out of their sockets.
You will need a dentist to treat gum disease, so dentists encourage preventative care when it comes to periodontal health. Make sure you practice good oral hygiene to lower the risk of bacterial spread and contracting gum disease.
Tooth loss may also occur due to severe damage to a tooth, such as in cases of advanced tooth decay. Treat cavities promptly to prevent this extensive dental damage. Attend routine dental check-ups as well so that your dentist can identify and provide swift treatment for tooth decay.
You might also knock out a tooth in an acute accident. If this occurs, you should seek urgent dental attention because the dentist might be able to save the tooth and restore it to your smile.
Tooth Replacement Options to Restore Your Smile
If you lose one or more teeth, your dentist can evaluate your dental structure and discuss your preferences with you to provide you with customized tooth replacement. You can experience highly effective and long-lasting dental restoration with dental implants, for instance.
These fixtures involve the insertion of an anchor into the jaw that will support prosthetic teeth for lifelong restorative dental benefits. Your dentist can check your jaw health to ensure you qualify for implant dentistry.
Otherwise, you can talk to your dentist about alternative tooth replacement options like removable dentures. While these devices will not last as long and offer fewer advantages, dentures can still improve the look, feel, and health of your smile in the wake of tooth loss.
Do not delay scheduling a dental consultation to find the best way to restore your unique smile. Call your dentist to make an appointment today at 512.866.9654.