When you experience tooth loss, you might be surprised to learn its cause. If you thought that tooth loss was just a natural part of the aging process, for example, then it might surprise you to learn that you lost a tooth because of an underlying oral health concern. For example, the most common cause of tooth loss is severe gum disease, due mainly to the destruction it causes to your gum tissues and jawbone structure. However, there are many other potential causes of tooth loss, as well, and in many cases, it results from something you might not have realized could even be related to losing one or more teeth.
The development of gingivitis
Because gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, the development of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) can be the mark of a significant rise in your tooth loss risks. Unfortunately, not everyone automatically relates gingivitis to the more severe cases of gum disease that their dentists warn them about. Failing to take the early warning signs seriously, such as redness or slight bleeding in your gums, can allow gingivitis to quickly progress and become more severe. As it does, your risks of experiencing tooth loss will also rise.
The misalignment of one or more teeth
Crooked teeth can cause many different problems for your oral health, many of which are obvious, but tooth loss isn’t something that most people associate with them. In most cases, orthodontic treatment can be performed to straighten crooked teeth before more serious oral health problems can develop as a result of them. However, in extreme cases of tooth misalignment, correcting the balance of your bite might require extracting a tooth that’s too far out of alignment to correct, or interferes with your overall orthodontic correction. If the misalignment isn’t addressed, then problems with your oral health and/or bite function may lead to tooth loss or the need for tooth extraction.
The wearing down or damage to your tooth structure
Tooth damage, or the excessive wearing down of your tooth structure, can diminish a tooth’s ability to function properly and grow worse over time. Even if the damage is minor at first, the continued pressure and friction of your bite will cause more damage to your tooth structure. In severe cases, a damaged or extensively worn-down tooth might be too compromised to restore, or may suffer so much damage that it falls out on its own. Though it may seem minor, any instance of tooth damage can become a significant risk factor for losing the tooth.
Learn how to lower your chances of tooth loss
Tooth loss might result from several potential factors, and knowing these can help you improve your chances of preventing it. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.