When you stick with it consistently, protecting your smile and maintaining your good oral health is a relatively simple process. The basic principles of a good dental hygiene routine – namely, keeping your teeth and gums clean of oral bacteria – and the regular professional care you get from routine checkups and cleanings can often be enough. However, when oral bacteria are able to accumulate enough to become a threat, what that threat could entail isn’t always obvious at first. Today, we examine a few consequences of allowing oral bacteria to accumulate excessively, and how these consequences can contribute to significantly higher risks of tooth loss.
Gingivitis that progresses into periodontitis
The most frequent cause of adult tooth loss is the damage to your oral structures caused by severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Gum disease doesn’t typically start out as a such a severe condition; when it first develops, its earliest stage (gingivitis) can produce relatively minor symptoms, such as red and slightly inflamed gums. However, if you ignore these early symptoms and neglect to seek treatment for gingivitis promptly, it can have a chance to progress faster than you may realize. As it does so, your risks of losing teeth to the disease become increasingly higher.
Severe tooth decay that you ignore
Tooth decay isn’t as common a cause of tooth loss as gum disease, though it does directly infect your healthy tooth structure. As the source behind cavity development, tooth decay often produces noticeable symptoms early on, such as increasingly worse sensitivity in your tooth structure. This often prompts people to seek treatment for their tooth decay and stop it from progressing before it can erode significant amounts of tooth structure. However, this isn’t always the case, and waiting to address a tooth infection can allow the decay to grow much more severe than you realize. By the time you do seek treatment, extracting the tooth might be necessary, or the remaining tooth structure may have fallen out on its own.
Certain types of tooth crowding concerns
Not all causes of tooth decay result from conditions caused by oral bacteria. Therefore, consistently cleaning your teeth isn’t always a guarantee against preventing tooth loss. In addition to cleanliness, your dental hygiene and preventive care routine also includes regular, thorough examinations by your dentist of your teeth and oral structures. Such examinations may reveal a serious issue with your tooth alignment, bite function, or more that can lead to heightened risks of losing a tooth or needing tooth extraction. Sever crowding or spacing issues can sometimes constitute such a concern; in fact, impacted wisdom teeth are among the most commonly extracted teeth due to the problems that arise from lack of space along the dental ridges.
Learn how to lower your risks of tooth loss
Your biggest risks for tooth loss may not be the same as anyone else’s, which is why controlling those risks requires a consistent and personalized approach to dental care. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also serve the residents of Kingwood, Conroe, Livingston, and all surrounding communities.