Adult Tooth Loss: Its Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Tooth loss in adults is worrisome, but not uncommon. Adults characteristically have 32 teeth, and losing even one can impact the way we chew food which can adversely affect your health. Seeking emergency dental care in the event of a tooth falling out is necessary, but it’s best to be careful and know what to do if and when it happens. Read this post to find out more.

Risk Factors, Preventive Measures and Treatment for Tooth Loss

Find out the common reasons for adult tooth loss, how to prevent it and what to do about it.

Causes of Tooth Loss in Adults

The following factors can cause adults to lose one or more teeth.

  1. Poor Dental Hygiene

Not cleaning your teeth and gums properly can lead to them harbouring bacteria which can destabilize teeth.

Bacteria left untreated for an extended period of time can create cavities in the crown of your tooth. In severe cases, they destroy the pulp in the centre of teeth which may require either a root canal or extraction. 

Good oral hygiene is the first and best way to avoid cavities from growing and spreading to other teeth.

  1. Traumatic Injury

Losing teeth is common in contact sports like boxing, hockey and football. You can reduce your risk by wearing a helmet and/or mouthguard.

  1. Gum Disease

Our gums anchor our teeth but can be weakened by gum or periodontal disease, reducing support to the roots. This can result in teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out when not looked after in a timely fashion.

  1. Osteoporosis

Our bones lose density and weaken with age. Jawbones affected by this condition can see teeth loosen and in severe cases fall out if not treated promptly.

As you can see, tooth loss is a common dental issue that can happen due to various factors. But taking preventive measures, such as maintaining a balanced diet and getting regular dental checkups and cleanings, can prevent it.

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Different Ways to Prevent Adult Tooth Loss

Adults can lose teeth in a number of ways, but there are steps you can take to decrease the risk.

  • Make brushing, flossing and rinsing twice a day a priority. You can also use an anti-plaque mouthwash.
  • Try to maintain a healthy diet and avoid commercially available sodas, juices and sweets as they contain large quantities of sugar.
  • If you chew tobacco or smoke, stop immediately to decrease the chances of losing teeth and developing cancers.
  • Stay on top of your oral health by visiting your dentist every six months. They can spot diseases or cavities and offer a suitable treatment plan.

What to Do If You Lose a Permanent Tooth

Take a look at what you should do if you lose a tooth.

  • First, locate the missing tooth and pick it up via the crown, not the root.
  • If it’s dirty or grimy, rinse it with distilled water, not tap. Avoid chemicals and soap, and remember not to scrub the tooth. When taking it to the dentist, don’t wrap it in a cloth or tissue.
  • If possible, reposition your tooth in its socket right away. Use your fingers to gently push it into place and, again, gently close your mouth.
  • Remember, it’s vital that the tooth remains moist. If you can put it back in its place, great. If this isn’t possible, keep it in milk or an emergency tooth preservation kit, if available.
  • It’s essential to act quickly and visit an emergency dentist near you, but remember to bring the tooth with you. It’s best to visit the dentist within an hour.

Regardless of the reason for adult tooth loss, you need to treat it like the dental emergency it is. To receive the care you need as soon as possible, make sure you have a reliable emergency dentist who can provide dental implantscrowns and bridges.