Usually, when we talk about losing teeth, we are talking about the natural tooth loss that occurs in young children. While we all have fond memories of leaving our baby teeth under our pillows for the tooth fairy, tooth decay and loss later in life is less charming. Without proper care, tooth decay and/or tooth loss in adults can result in even greater damage to your oral health.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is caused by a severe buildup of plaque on your teeth. Too much plaque on your teeth eventually begins to harm the dental enamel, causing cavities to form. A cavity is like a hole in your tooth. That plaque build-up causes mineral loss in your enamel, creating the hole. If left untreated, the cavity can grow and destroy your entire tooth.
What Causes Adult Tooth Decay?
There are a lot of elements that contribute to adult tooth decay, and they aren’t dissimilar from the factors that cause children to get cavities. They include:
- High sugar consumption. Bacteria feed off of sugar and create acid as a by-product, which can wear down and damage dental enamel.
- Consuming excess carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates often have a high sugar content, which can also feed the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Poor oral hygiene habits. Regardless of what you eat, you need to brush and floss regularly, as well as attend your regular dental checkups.
Adult Tooth Decay Treatment
There are multiple stages of tooth decay, and therefore a few options for treatment. If you suspect any of your teeth are in any stage of decay, meet with your dentist as soon as possible. Getting a professional opinion is the best thing you can do.
Our highly trained staff can create an individualized dental treatment plan that will address your needs, and avoid further tooth decay or damage.
What Causes Adult Tooth Loss?
Tooth loss is the final stage of tooth decay. If left untreated, what begins as a cavity can end as a missing tooth. If your tooth is very badly infected, your dentist might recommend removing that tooth to protect your overall dental health.
Losing a tooth to decay is not the end of your treatment for that tooth. A missing tooth can create other problems for your oral health, and needs to be seen and evaluated by a dentist.
Adult Tooth Loss Treatment
While our goal will always be to preserve your existing teeth, tooth loss happens. To prevent further problems, there are many treatment options available to you after you have lost a tooth. Make an appointment today to discuss comfortable and natural-looking tooth replacement options, and to check on the rest of your teeth to ensure their longevity.
How To Prevent Tooth Loss and Decay
Preventing tooth loss and decay doesn’t have to be difficult. Avoid excessive sugar, and get into the habit of regular oral care, especially flossing!
Visit the dentist for twice-annual checkups and cleanings. During your annual cleaning, we take special care to remove any build up of plaque that could turn into a cavity. Regular cleanings at a dentist office are a great line of defense in preventing tooth decay or tooth loss as an adult.
Stay on top of your oral health and be on the lookout for signs of tooth decay, including:
- Tooth pain.
- Pus around the tooth.
- A noticeable pit on your tooth.
- Increased tooth sensitivity, especially when pressure is exerted on a tooth.
Keep Your Natural Teeth Healthy With Our Treatment Options
Our compassionate and highly trained team is ready to help you with adult tooth loss, adult tooth decay, regular cleanings, or any other treatment you may need! Call us today to make an appointment or ask a question about our services.