Tooth loss can be really tough to go through, and one of the most rewarding aspects of our roles as dentists is bringing a smile back to the faces of patients. We offer a range of treatments for replacing missing teeth and will always give tailored advice to patients, to help them avoiding reaching the stage where restorative care is necessary.
Read our blog for advice on how you can prevent tooth loss and preserve a beautiful smile.
What are the most common causes of tooth loss in adults?
Gum disease: this remains the no.1 reason for tooth loss in adults and is completely avoidable with regular hygienist visits and good at-home habits.
Sugar: sugar is a huge culprit when it comes to tooth erosion, which damages your tooth enamel, the protective coating that plays an essential role in keeping your teeth strong.
Tooth grinding: long term tooth grinding causes wear, and can result in cracked and chipped teeth. If left untreated, tooth grinding can go on to affect your gums and bone and eventually, cause tooth loss.
Illness and injury: teeth can become lost through injury or illness, such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers and chronic kidney disease.
If my tooth becomes infected, is there a way back?
A tooth can become infected if there is severe decay present, you have a damaged filling or your tooth has taken a severe knock. Attending regular appointments will make sure your teeth do not reach a level of decay where a tooth is infected, but if you haven’t come to see us here in Norwich for a little while, it may be you have decay that has indeed reached an advanced stage.
In such cases, we can perform root canal treatment, which eliminates the infections and protects the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Unfortunately there are some cases where a root canal is not possible, and we may perform tooth extraction, in the interests of your dental health.
What about tooth grinding?
If we notice your teeth are worn during a routine appointment, or you come to us with complaints of head and jaw aches, we may recommend a splint or mouth guard to wear during the night, which will stop you grinding without realising.
Your oral health and your wider health – is there a link?
There are a number of associated health problems with poor oral hygiene. Just as with other areas of your body, your mouth is full of bacteria – most of it harmless. However, failing to maintain good oral health will cause bacteria levels to reach a stage where you’re susceptible to infections, like tooth decay and gum disease.
In recent years, research from the University of Bristol and Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin has shown that gum bacteria can escape from the mouth into the bloodstream and cause clots that increase your risk heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s. The good news is, by attending hygienist and dentist appointments at our Norwich dental practice, any evolving complications with your dental or periodontal health can be stopped, treated and not allowed to progress to an advanced stage.
Your oral health and your appearance
One of the aspects of having poor health that comes as a big shock to patients is the effect it can have on their appearance. Here are a few ways missing teeth impact the way you look:
Your jawbone may atrophy (shrink): if you’ve ever broken a bone, you’ll have noticed that the muscle in the vicinity shrinks as it hasn’t been used as normal during your recovery.The same goes for your jawbone. When it remains unused because there is a tooth missing, it will shrink and become weak or even fractured. Unfortunately, a weak jawbone cannot support dental implants and bridges, leaving dentures as your only viable option. Jawbone loss also causes facial changes; as the gonial angle increases, your chin protrudes and your cheeks become hollow.
Teeth shifting out of position: untreated tooth loss can cause neighbouring teeth to move out of place, leading to a crooked smile.Here at Corner House Dental, we offer orthodontic treatment for patients whose teeth have shifted out of position. Well aligned and uncrowded teeth are essential if you want to avoid getting food and bacteria stuck in between the gaps.
Changes to facial features: features such as the lips can really suffer after a certain amount of jawbone has been lost.As they no longer have the support they need, more wrinkles may manifest. The upper lip can also become more pronounced and appear long, which has a knock on effect on the size of the nose, which often appears longer.
Such can be very detrimental on your self-esteem and our compassionate team understand this can be upsetting. During your patient journey with us, we are here to support you both with your treatment and with the emotional impact tooth loss can have.
Dental Implants at Corner House Dental
Dr Francois Smit has ample experience in placing implants for the people of Norwich, and has transformed hundreds of smiles during his 17 year long career. Whether you have a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth you would like to replace, or you would like to graduate to dental implants from dentures, we can help. We are a trusted by referral dental practice across Norfolk and offer flexible payment options, including interest free finance.
If you would like to book a dentist or hygienist appointment with us and you live in the Alyesham or Taverham area, contact our friendly team today.