Everyone knows they should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. But did you know that your lifestyle choices can also significantly impact your dental health? Aside from underlying health reasons and unhealthy habits, some of your activities can also put you at risk of losing teeth. This can have some unexpected consequences. It can cause your remaining teeth to shift out of alignment, lead to bone loss in the jaw, and affect your overall appearance and self-confidence. A missing tooth can make you look older and detract from your smile. As a result, taking good care of your teeth and seeing a dentist regularly to prevent tooth loss is essential. Given these, here are some factors that can leave you with a missing tooth if you aren’t careful:
Activities that Lead to Gum Disease
Gum disease is a severe condition that can damage the gums, bones, and other tissues in the mouth. It is caused by plaque build-up, a film of bacteria that often forms on the surface of the teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, irritating the gums and leading to inflammation. Some activities that can lead to gum disease include:
- Brushing too hard: This can cause the gums to recede, making them more susceptible to infection. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush and gentle circular motions.
- Smoking: Tobacco use is one of the leading risk factors for gum disease. It reduces blood flow to the gums and increases the levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Poor nutrition: A diet lacking in nutrients can weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight infection. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Getting Oral Piercings: If a piercing isn’t placed correctly, it will rub against your gum tissue. This can damage the tissue and cause it to recede from your teeth, increasing your chances of getting gum disease.
- Vomiting: Frequent vomiting can expose your teeth to stomach acid and increase acidity levels in the mouth, leading to the erosion of your tooth enamel, and eventually resulting in tooth loss.
If you’re not careful, some of your lifestyle choices might also put you at risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Some of these activities might still be within your control. However, in other situations, such as smoking addiction or eating disorders, it’s also essential for you to address any underlying health issues so you can better care for your overall health.
Stress leading to Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding or bruxism is a condition that affects about 10% of Americans. It’s a condition in which you unknowingly grind or clench your teeth when you’re awake or asleep. Factors that can increase your risk of this condition include stress, anxiety, and it can be the effect of taking certain medications, such as antidepressants. If left untreated, bruxism may damage your teeth, leaving them susceptible to tooth loss. When you see your dentist about this, they will likely ask about your medical history and whether you’re under a lot of stress. Suppose they suspect that an underlying medical disorder may be causing the bruxism. In that case, they may refer you to a physician for further evaluation and treatment for the medical problem.
Risks to Receiving Trauma to the Mouth
Any impact on your face can cause trauma to the mouth if the hit is strong enough, leading to teeth being knocked out or loosened. Athletes are at high risk of this, especially those in contact sports such as football, hockey, or martial arts. These sports can expose athletes to direct and indirect blows to the mouth, which is why professionals often wear mouth guards.
But you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from this type of dental trauma. Any accident that causes a blow to the mouth can lead to tooth loss, such as a car accident or a fall. For instance, if you trip and hit your mouth on a hard surface, your teeth may become loose and fall out. If left untreated, missing teeth could lead to further dental complications. In this case, you should see a dentist immediately to replace the missing teeth. You can get life-like dental implants that match the look and feel of your original teeth. Doing so can help to restore your smile and prevent further oral health issues.
While most people think that losing a tooth is something that only happens in early childhood or old age, there are actually many ways you could lose a tooth unexpectedly as an adult. So take care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly to avoid any unexpected trips to the dentist!