Tooth loss has a significant impact on oral health, appearance, and self-esteem. We know we need to brush and floss regularly, but we’re often less aware of other steps we should take to protect our teeth. If you’re concerned about tooth loss, avoid these four common causes that aren’t mentioned often.
1. Acidic Foods
Your mouth takes about an hour to return to a balanced acidity level after you eat. When you regularly snack on sweets, the acid levels in your mouth remain high and don’t have a chance to recalibrate, which dramatically raises the risk of tooth decay. If you do have a sweet snack, eat it in one sitting and brush and floss immediately afterward.
2. High-Impact Sports
If you play football, rugby, hockey, or another high-impact sport, you could quickly knock out a tooth if you don’t wear a properly-fitted mouthguard. If you do lose a tooth during a game, store it in milk and go straight to the dentist to potentially have it replaced.
3. Grinding Your Teeth
Those of us who grind or clench our teeth may not even be aware of this habit. Over time, this grinding motion can wear away the enamel of your teeth and damage the surrounding bone, tissue, and gum. Grinding can be related to anxiety or stress or could signify an underlying bite problem, so it’s important to be evaluated by your dentist.
4. Poor Oral Hygiene and Smoking
You’re more likely to develop gum disease if you smoke, which increases your risk of losing teeth. If you don’t brush and floss twice a day as recommended and you’re a smoker, you’re putting yourself in double jeopardy. Breaking these bad habits can make a positive impact on your overall oral health.
Tooth loss is more common among men and those older than age 35. Chronic illnesses, including arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, are also risk factors.
Protect Your Teeth with Oral Surgery
If you do lose a tooth, help is available. Your dentist can determine whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant, which looks natural and has the same function as your real teeth. Dr. Nancy Herbst of Union City Oral Surgery strives to provide quality care for those needing dental implants, having more than 25 years of experience conducting such surgeries. Contact us at (201) 601-9262 or schedule an appointment on our web page.