As a child, we were all excited to lose a tooth, planning how to spend the cash reward we’d get the morning after we diligently placed the lost tooth under our pillows. However, when you lose a tooth as an adult, the repercussions are less those of financial gain than discomfort and stress. With education and a good relationship with your dental professional, this doesn’t have to be your reality.
- How do adults lose teeth? There are myriad answers, from accidental injury to disease, lack of proper maintenance, medication side effects, or even unlucky genetics. By the time the average American is fifty years old, he or she will have lost three to four permanent adult teeth through various factors. These numbers go up dramatically if the person smoked at any time or is in a middle or lower income bracket. Women tend to lose one more tooth than men by the time they’ve reached 50. If you’ve had a dental injury at work, you may need a workers compensation dentist.
- What are the potential health risks of losing teeth? If there is an injury involved, there may be damage to surrounding tissue, resulting in infection or abscess, either of which may require medication to resolve it. If the tooth loss stems from improper dental hygiene, accompanying gingivitis and plaque can lead to pneumonia or even impact cardiac function. Beyond these, though, are the less physical effects: anxiety, changes to facial features, fears surrounding potential treatments, difficulty chewing and eating, impaired speech, and self-esteem issues.
- What can my dentist do? Dental professionals can be helpful both in prevention and remediation of tooth loss. Getting regular cleanings and treatment for any issues can reduce the risks but, should an injury occur, or even a nontraumatic loss due to medication, illness, or genetics, you should still see your dentist immediately. He or she will assess the tissue to see if the tooth and root are both gone, or if intervention is needed. Once the tissue has healed sufficiently, there are many options, from bridges and dentures to implants, to restore function and aesthetics to your mouth.
Human teeth simply did not develop to last for 70-80 years. Thus, most people will lose one or more teeth in adulthood. This doesn’t have to be a distressing situation; with prompt and skillful care, you can continue to live your life to the fullest and smile without uncertainty. Make an appointment today to see how we can help you to maintain your dental health to the fullest. If you sustained an injury at work resulting in tooth loss, Modern Dentistry is a workers compensation dentist you can rely on.