You might not actively seek to lose your tooth, but there are plenty of ways that you might not effectively prevent tooth loss as well as you should. Fortunately, your dentist has the tools and experience to restore your smile after losing one or more teeth. Before you require tooth replacement, however, we explain three of the more common causes of missing teeth in the hopes that you can prevent the condition.
A knocked out tooth is the most obvious effect of severe trauma, but it isn’t the only way in which trauma can lead to tooth loss. If an accident fractures your tooth, you may not realize it until an infection sets in and threatens your tooth, which may not be until months later, or longer.
The most common cause of permanent tooth loss is gum disease, which attacks the foundation of your smile. As the name suggests, gum disease describes an infection in the gingival tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth (your gums). In its most severe form, periodontitis, gum disease can continue past your gums and infect the jawbone underneath, destroying the structures that hold your teeth in place.
Although the condition is less common than trauma or disease, some patients may have a congenitally absent adult tooth, meaning no permanent tooth grows to replace the primary (baby) tooth that preceded it. Though the primary tooth may fall out during adolescence along with your other primary teeth, it often remains until it must be extracted due to loss of root support.