Nearly 178 million people in the U.S. alone have at least one missing tooth. Even more staggering is the fact that almost 35 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal?” After all, in this day and age, with all the advances in science and technology, it’s not as if people who suffer from tooth loss don’t have any replacement options.
Many dentists offer restorative options to save your smile such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants. It’s truly remarkable what these procedures can do for the appearance and functionality of your teeth.
What we find so troubling about the statistics regarding tooth loss among adults is just how prevalent it is. Why are so many people losing their teeth and are you at risk of becoming part of this group?
Today, we’re exploring two of the most common reasons so many Americans suffer from tooth loss and what can be done to prevent it.
Probable Cause #1 – Poor Oral Hygiene
One of the main reasons people lose their teeth has to do with their oral hygiene habits. The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft bristle toothbrush. In addition, they recommend flossing between your teeth once a day.
You should also visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Most people can do well to schedule these cleanings about twice a year, although some people at greater risk for gum disease can talk to their dentist about the appropriate wait time between checkups.
While good oral hygiene at home is a great start, it really does take a professional with the knowledge, skill, and equipment to properly clean your teeth and remove bacteria from the area around and under your gumline.
Why are these habits so important? Because tooth loss begins when plaque and tartar buildup under the gumline lead to bacterial infection. Often times, this slowly developing infection is nearly impossible to detect for the untrained eye. If you don’t notice any visible signs of gum disease, and if you don’t feel any pain, you may think you have no reason to go to the dentist.
The problem with this is that as gum disease takes hold of your mouth, it begins to affect the bone in your jaw that support your teeth and the rest of your face. Over time, if gone untreated, gum disease can cause your jaw bone to slowly melt away. Without enough bone to support your teeth, they become loose and eventually fall out.
This can have a devastating effect on you, both in terms of your appearance and self-esteem and your oral and overall health. Your relationships can suffer because you feel embarrassed about your smile. Your health suffers because you’re not able to maintain proper nutrition because the functionality of your teeth and gums are largely compromised.
Probable Cause #2 – Dental Anxiety
One of the most heartbreaking truths about tooth loss is that it’s avoidable. Millions of people who have missing teeth probably just accept it as a normal part of growing older. It doesn’t have to be that way!
It can be prevented, and if caught early enough by your dentist, gum disease can actually be treated, and the effects successfully reversed. So why don’t more people go to the dentist? One of the main reasons is dental anxiety. Most people don’t necessarily enjoy going to the dentist, it’s true. But there are people who are so scared that they avoid going altogether.
Dental anxiety is very real and can be quite debilitating. So what can be done about it?
At Brar Dentistry, we offer sedation options that can effectively help you through your fears so you can receive the proper oral care you deserve. Nitrous oxide, for example, often called laughing gas, is a great way to help patients feel calm and relaxed during treatment.
Sometimes, however, it’s not enough. If your dental anxiety is more intense, you can opt for oral sedation or even IV sedation at Brar Dentistry. As you sit in a cozy, heated massage chair, our oral and IV sedation techniques can help give you the most comfortable dental experience possible.
We also have a very warm, caring, and friendly staff at Brar Dentistry, which goes a long way in helping ease your mind from the moment you walk in the door. We want you to have the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve and will do all we can to help you get the high quality dental care you need.