Factors That Contribute To Teeth-Loss
Let’s be honest, tooth loss is just unavoidable. Yes, you could have taken care of them as best as you can, but there are several ways that you can lose your teeth. As a kid you might already have a milk tooth fall out and come loose on its own before. So age is a factor, aside from that, trauma, injury, malnutrition, and infection can also contribute to teeth-loss.
The reasons for teeth-loss are not limited to those that have already been mentioned above, you must consider all contributing aspects on tooth-loss so you could improve your overall oral health.
How Do Teeth Grow?
Odontogenesis is the medical term for the complex process of tooth development. In our lifetime, and just like most mammals, we grow 2 sets of teeth. Not everyone knows this, but human babies are born with all their teeth for their entire lifespan, it’s just that they don’t grow out until a certain age.
The first set is known as the milk teeth, temporary teeth or deciduous teeth. This is the initial set of teeth to push through the gums.
From 5 to 8 months, babies grow their incisors or the flat-edged teeth at the front used for biting. Then at around 1 year and 4 months, kids slowly develop and show their canine teeth, (the pointy teeth separating the premolars used for chewing), and incisors. At the age of 3, their premolars and other teeth are expected to be fully developed.
Fast forward to 6 years old, the temporary teeth start to die out. Its roots slowly dissolve and loosen up to make way for the second pair of teeth, known as adult teeth or permanent teeth. Likewise, the first to grow are incisors (up and down), then canine, followed by premolars and molars.
By the age of 14, other permanent teeth have poked through the gums. Then during late teens (around 17) and 20 years old onwards, wisdom teeth can start to grow. Wisdom teeth can also grow at awkward angles, which may require the attention of a trusted dental practitioner.
Losing Your Teeth
Once you lose permanent teeth, you can no longer grow another one. As you age, your teeth would have been exposed to forces such as grinding, chewing, or even traumatic injury. Permanent teeth loss could also be due to several oral problems. Good thing is, oral diseases can be prevented to avoid permanent teeth loss.
Also called tooth decay -is the process of damaging your tooth, usually due to the build-up of germs, bacteria, and acid (from plaque build-up). This can affect the enamel or the outer layer of your teeth, and can also affect the inner layer of your teeth called the dentin.
Dental plaque build-up is considered the primary cause of cavities. This sticky film that consists of sugars, attracts germs and bacteria that feed off of it, producing harmful acids that eventually eat away at our enamel. Frequent exposure to the harmful acids caused by bacteria results in holes in the teeth, exposing the dentin and possibly destroying the root of the tooth. Adjacent teeth can be affected leading to decay of the tooth or tooth extraction.
Gingivitis is considered a mild form of periodontal disease. It is a result of the accumulation of plaque and bacteria build-up that causes the gums to become red, inflamed, and easily subject to bleeding.
Gingivitis is the most common oral health issue among humans. It is mostly acquired as a result of poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis can be easily prevented with proper oral care. Gingivitis can also be reversed with the help of an oral health professional followed by improved oral home care, which should also be provided by your trusted dental practitioner.
Aside from the lack of oral care, Gingivitis could be caused by other factors such as:
Age – Risks of having gingivitis increases with age, which could also predetermine the changes to your hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or even during a menstrual cycle.
Smoking – Smokers are at a higher risk of being inflicted by the disease.
Poor Diet – Malnutrition is a contributing factor to this oral problem. An example would be Vitamin C deficiency.
Drugs – Certain drugs can affect the growth of gum tissues.
Chronic Diseases – Such as Diabetes, Cancer, HIV, which can disrupt your body’s ability to fight infection.
Failure to treat gingivitis can eventually progress to a much more serious case known as Periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a severe case of periodontal disease that starts to infect the surfaces below the gumline. Plaque build-up worsens causing the gum line to recede. Also known as gingival recession, it makes the root of your teeth more susceptible to infection.
Gingival recession exposes the root of a tooth and eventually causes it to loosen and fall-out. It can also promote the development of pockets (small gaps between teeth and gums). As toxins, tartar, and bacteria accumulate, it encourages the destruction of your gums and teeth, resulting in more infections.
Tips And Prevention
If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, it is best to visit your nearest dental practitioner for proper assessment of your oral health. like any other ailments, prevention should always be placed on top of the list. Treatment is always possible and its main objective is to promote the reattachment of healthy gums to your teeth to reverse the adverse effects of bacterial infection, pockets, and plaque accumulation.
Proper oral management can help the prevention of periodontitis. Brushing your teeth at least twice daily can improve your dental health. Also, subsequent flossing and use of mouthwash help to reduce bacterias, germs, and food debris in areas where your brush can’t reach. It is also advised to visit your dentist twice a year to have proper cleaning and dental assessment.
On top of these, you should also focus on proper nutrition so you can avoid other diseases that could contribute to teeth loss or other oral health issues.