When we think about tooth loss, certain characters in films might come to mind. Perhaps we think of Ed Helms in “The Hangover.” Or Brad Pitt in “Fight Club.” Maybe we think of something more recent, such as Jon Finley in Netflix’s popular pandemic-time series, “The Tiger King.” Whatever caused their tooth loss, thinking about it can beg some questions and raise some potential myths. It’s vital to understand the facts about tooth loss, and unless your tooth loss is related to a fight, as in the case of “Fight Club,” or some other accident or unfortunate mishap, tooth loss usually stems from tooth decay.
Tooth decay occurs when the tooth’s structure is compromised, impacting the enamel that coats the tooth and the tooth’s dentin layer. When you consume foods that are heavy in sugars and starches, like bread, cereal, milk, soda, cake, fruit, or candy, and that sugar stays on the tooth for an extended period, it can lead to the build-up of acids, which are created when your mouth’s bacteria digest the foods. Combining this acid, bacteria, food particles, and saliva form a plaque that clings to your teeth. The acids in this plaque can dissolve your teeth’s enamel surface, leading to holes in the teeth that we call cavities.
Dispelling 5 Common Myths About Tooth Loss
Now that we understand what tooth decay is and how it leads to tooth loss, let’s take some time to dispel some of the common myths about tooth loss.
Myth #1: Tooth loss happens to everyone.
Tooth decay is indeed a common dental issue that has been around for centuries. However, with modern dentistry and the knowledge that comes with that expertise, we can now care for our teeth better than ever before. And, over time, we have seen less and less tooth loss.
Baby boomers are the first generation to keep their teeth. This decline in tooth decay and resulting tooth loss is due to better education and awareness about preventive dental care. Maintaining a daily routine and visiting the dentist twice a year can help keep those pearly whites in great shape. Twice annual visits to the dentist can also play a significant role in lessening the risk of periodontitis.
Today’s millennials and the generations coming after them have a growing awareness of how their daily habits, including diet and exercise, play into dental health.
Myth #2: Tooth loss doesn’t happen to healthy people.
The truth is, tooth loss can occur for many reasons. As we alluded to earlier, teeth can be knocked out in accidents, cracks can happen when we bite down on something too hard, and other disorders can weaken our naturally healthy teeth. Also, we all know that nobody’s perfect, and nobody has flawless hygiene habits.
Even if you are in good health, it’s still important to give your teeth and mouth the proper attention and care. You may be aware that your oral health and your overall health are linked. By neglecting the health of your mouth, you may inadvertently allow bacteria to enter your body and cause inflammation and other problems. Keeping your body healthy is an excellent goal, but don’t forget your teeth and gums for whole-body health.
Myth #3: Tooth loss is something to feel embarrassed about.
Losing a tooth, whatever the cause, is nothing to feel bad about. Tooth decay and tooth loss are something that dentists are experts at taking care of, and you don’t need to live with it. Whatever the stage of your tooth decay, fillings, crowns, and implants can address your tooth decay or tooth loss.
We use dental fillings to repair cavities to avoid a bigger dental problem in the future. Fillings do just what they sound like—fill small holes that have been caused by tooth decay. Fillings can also repair cracks or fractures in your teeth.
You may also be a candidate for a dental crown. Crowns can strengthen your tooth if the tooth decay has resulted in too little tooth for a filling to hold. Crowns can be used to attach bridges, protect your weakened tooth, or restore a tooth that is already broken. Crowns are also an excellent option for those who want to cover teeth that are discolored or misshapen. The great news is that dental crowns aren’t as time-consuming as they used to be. Same-day dental crowns can get you back on your way in only one visit.
Myth #4: Tooth loss is the end of the world for my smile.
Just because you have experienced tooth loss doesn’t mean that your smile is a thing of the past. Dr. Alhadef, in the Highland Park, Texas, area, has helped many patients discover their smile makeover through modern dental implants. Due to advances in implant dentistry, the modern dental implant is the closest thing to a miracle for those who have experienced tooth loss
Dental implants have helped over three million Americans who wanted to save their smile. Though you must know what to expect before getting a dental implant, you will be surprised to find out how well a dental implant will look compared to your actual teeth.
Myth #5: Tooth loss is inevitable for people with a history of bad teeth.
Even if you have a family history of tooth loss, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow the same path. As we shared earlier, there are advances in modern dentistry all the time, and it is becoming less and less common for American adults to experience tooth loss resulting from tooth decay. Even if you believe you have bad genes and your teeth will inevitably pay the price, through proper oral care and attention from your Park cities’ area dentist, you may very well be the one in your family to change the course of your dental history.
Take steps to reduce your chances.
Taking steps towards proper oral care can reduce your chances of developing tooth decay, leading to tooth loss. For example, Dr. Alhadef suggests taking the following steps:
- Brush your teeth two times per day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride—when possible, brush after each meal and before you go to bed.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Rinse your mouth at least once per day with a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet that avoids carbohydrates like candy, pretzels, and chips.
- Talk to Dr. Alhadef about the use of supplemental fluoride to strengthen your teeth.
- Drink fluoridated water each day.
- Visit your family dentist at least twice per year for a professional cleaning and oral exam.
Dr. Alhadef and Dallas Cosmetic Dental can help reduce your risk.
The best way to lessen your chances of tooth loss is to visit your Highland Park family dentist at least twice per year for a professional cleaning and oral exam. During your oral exam, Dr. Alhadef will assess your risk for tooth decay and tooth loss and provide you with mitigation strategies for your future dental health.
If you are ready to see what you can do to prevent tooth loss or you need a dental appointment, contact our office or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you.