The causes and treatment of tooth loss

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The oral microbiome

Tooth loss can be a highly distressing condition, that can affect both essential daily functions, such as speaking, biting or chewing and also one’s sense of self-worth, mental health and wellbeing. The leading causes of tooth loss include advanced tooth decay and advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis. The primary cause of these conditions is the combined presence of inadequate oral hygiene habits and a diet high in sugar. Certain bacterial species feed on the sugar found in the oral cavity after a meal. These species secrete organic acids while converting those sugars into energy and other essential compounds. These acids can enter into a chemical reaction with the calcium phosphate content of the teeth, leading to potential tooth decay.

Tooth decay and gingivitis

Diets high in sugar facilitate the growth of these microbes and thus the rate of the acid production. This can lead to the eventual degradation of some of the tooth’s structure and the formation of cavities. If the decay infects the pulp tissue, this usually results in tooth loss. Periodontitis is also facilitated by microbial overgrowth: it is caused by the immune system maintaining a persistent state of inflammation due to the increased microbial presence, which can damage the gingiva. This may lead to tooth loss. If you have been affected by tooth loss and would like to get a dental implant in Richmond, then contact your local dentist for more information on the matter.


Dental injuries and prevention

Traumatic dental injuries are another leading cause of tooth loss. Traumatic dental injuries can happen in a wide range of contexts and they may not always lead to an entire tooth getting knocked out. Sometimes they only involve the chipping or breakage of a tooth. Despite this it is best to always seek medical attention as soon as possible after a dental injury. The riskier areas conducive to acquiring a dental injury are contact sports, such as martial arts, football, handball or rugby and certain occupations, such as jobs in security services or the transport services. It is recommended that you wear a mouthguard whenever engaging in such activities to prevent dental injury.

Dental implants

Dental implants are small metal devices, which look similar to a screw. These are not simple screws however: the implants are made out of a metal called titanium, which has special immunological properties. Unlike most metals, titanium is not rejected when implanted into the body, and instead it integrates into the surrounding tissues as if it were the body’s own tissue. This provides dental implants a very high resilience against the enormous amounts of pressure that is exerted onto them during chewing or biting. Furthermore, it also makes dental implants a more or less permanent solution, as they often last through a lifetime assuming appropriate care. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone through surgery, and while all medical procedures come with certain risks, these are fairly small in the case of dental implants. Nonetheless, if you are interested in getting dental implants, you should get in touch with a dentist experienced in these procedures to find out more about dental implants, including potential risks of the procedure.

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