You know you’re supposed to visit your dentist at least twice a year. But sometimes you let a year or more pass between visits. You figure, at the worst, you’ll have to sit through the process of having a cavity filled. Not a big deal, right?
If you miss your visits to the dentist, a cavity could be the least of your worries. As dramatic as it may sound, skipping dental visits could potentially result in tooth loss.
How? Well, periodontitis (gum disease) is one of the most common human diseases. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss as well, and it can sneak up on you. Periodontitis always begins with gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can be easily caught and treated by a dental professional. But left untreated, gingivitis becomes periodontitis, which destroys the supporting structures of the teeth.
If you suspect you may have gum disease, we highly recommend that you visit your dentist as soon as possible. And just in case the fear of periodontitis isn’t enough to get you there, take a look below at the warning signs that you may be about to lose a tooth:
Loose or shifty tooth
You probably remember this one from when you lost your baby teeth as a child. It was fun and exciting to have a loose tooth back then, but as an adult, it’s a warning sign that something is seriously wrong and needs to be addressed right away.
If your gums bleed regularly, during brushing and even when you’re not brushing, it may be a sign of periodontitis. But bleeding gums may also be a sign of gingivitis, which is easily treatable with a proper oral health routine. Don’t diagnose yourself, though. Visit your dentist to be sure.
Sharp pain/sudden increased sensitivity
A sudden increase in tooth sensitivity could be the result of tooth decay, fractured teeth, gum disease, exposed tooth roots, or worn fillings, all of which can lead to tooth loss when left unchecked. If you experience sharp pain from hot or cold foods or liquids, your dentist can help you determine the cause—and treat it.
No, we’re not talking about coffee breath here. We’re talking about persistent bad breath that is offensive, embarrassing, and won’t go away no matter how much you rinse with mouthwash. At this level, bad breath is usually an indication of gum disease, which you now know is the number one cause of tooth loss. Your dentist is the best person to help eliminate the cause of your bad breath.
Even if it’s too late, it’s not too late.
Unfortunately, tooth loss in adults is not uncommon. In fact, according to findings from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, only 34% of adults ages 40-64 retain all their teeth. The good news is that losing one or multiple teeth is not the end of the road. Today, there are numerous tooth replacement options available to restore the smile and confidence of anyone who has lost permanent teeth.
At Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, we offer the very best in dental implants, which feel and function like real teeth. Whether you’re looking to replace one tooth or a whole set of teeth, we can help get your smile back in as little as a single day. Call to ask us about our dental implant services and our Hybrid4 Fixed Bridge Solution today.