Every Tooth In A Man’s Head Is More Valuable Than A Diamond.
~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605
Every week in my periodontal practice I see patients who are desperately trying to save their teeth. It’s like a light bulb has gone off in their head and NOW they see the light! It’s my mission to help them regain oral health, but it isn’t always easy.
In the last century it was considered normal to lose your teeth as you grew old. Today we work hard to save the teeth we can, and replace the teeth we can’t.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
Teeth loss is primarily caused by injury, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. Those who don’t take proper care of their teeth will lose them.
Poor oral hygiene probably causes most problems. Without daily brushing and flossing, you create an environment for cavities and gum disease. Dentists recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, flossing at least once a day. It is just as important to have your teeth professionally checked and cleaned at least twice a year. Some of my patients come in three and even four times a year for check-ups and cleanings to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
Poor nutrition is another tooth killer. Foods made of lots of sugar, carbohydrates and/or acids can greatly damage your teeth and gums. Such diets invite tooth decay.
Personal Habits Can Kill Teeth
You may not realize it, but nervous habits can destroy your teeth. Tooth grinding, known as bruxism, will eventually shorten your teeth and can also fracture them. I find many of my patients unknowingly grind or clamp their teeth as they sleep, then they wake up with sore jaws or headaches. I can easily see this when I examine them, even if they aren’t aware. After I make a guard to wear at night, their symptoms disappear, but more importantly, they are protecting their teeth!
Smoking and chewing tobacco wreak havoc on gums and lead to tooth loss.
New or old mouth injuries from contact sports can cause tooth loss. It is important to wear a mouth guard when playing physical contact sports to prevent trauma that can injure a tooth now, and result in a dead tooth later.
It’s funny, but some people love a scary movie, but their real fear is the dentist! They never consult one, even with tooth pain or problems. The condition can worsen over time, eventually leading to bye-bye tooth!
Prevention Costs Less Than Treatment
Sadly, some people lose their teeth because they think that they can’t afford good dental care. Yet, they can’t afford not to have good care, because they will pay a hefty price by losing teeth. At Atlanta Periodontics we can work out a payment plan, but remember that prevention always costs less than treatment!
Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your questions or concerns about dental health for children and adults.