While tooth loss is normal for young children with baby teeth, it’s a different story for young adults. Factors such as poor nutrition, lack of proper dental care, tooth decay and disease, smoking, and injuries are usually the basis for tooth loss in young adults.
To prevent the loss of your teeth and keep your smile looking good long into your twilight years, practice good oral hygiene, see your dental professional regularly, and take precautions to protect your teeth and gums.
Prevent Tooth Loss through Good Oral Hygiene
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9 out of 10 adults over the age of 20 have some degree of tooth decay. Regardless of your age, good oral hygiene is important to maintaining and retaining a beautiful smile. After all, you only have one set of adult teeth.
To take good care of your teeth and gums, your dental professional warns not to ignore tooth decay and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Left unattended it could lead to periodontitis (advanced gum disease), jawbone deterioration (called resorption), and even tooth loss.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Talk to your dental professional today if you suspect gum disease.
Put an End to Teeth Grinding to Prevent Tooth Loss
Tooth grinding (called bruxism) can crack and damage teeth. Additionally, it weakens them and can lead to tooth loss. To help, your dental professional may recommend you wear a mouth guard while you sleep.
There are a number of over-the-counter night mouth guards available. However, the best mouth guard is the one your dentist custom-fits to your mouth. It will keep your teeth from grinding together. This reduces further stress on your teeth.
Dental Injuries Can Cause Tooth Loss
Active adults know that accidents can happen. Falling down, biting something hard (like ice), and playing sports, all put your mouth at risk. Specifically, the Canadian Dental Association recommends that adults use good common sense to prevent dental injuries. They suggest you avoid:
- Chewing hard objects such as popcorn kernels and hard candy;
- Using your teeth to cut tape, thread, or other items; and
- Participating in sports without a proper-fitting mouthguard.
While it’s difficult to avoid the unexpected, taking precautions when you can may just lower your risk of tooth loss.
Oral Piercings May Lead to Tooth Loss
Oral piercings – in your tongue, lip, or cheek – may lead to oral hygiene issues if not handled correctly. According to WebMD, specific medical and dental problems from oral piercings include:
- Infection, especially at the piercing site
- Endocarditis – inflammation of the heart – due to bacteria
- Nerve damage or excessive bleeding from a bad piercing
- Gum disease, if the jewelry injures gum tissue
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Allergic reaction to metal
- Choking, digestive track or lung injury, if jewelry comes loose
To avoid medical and dental problems and prevent tooth loss, talk to your dental professional about your dental health and make sure to have routine dental checkups.