Tooth loss isn’t always as predictable as it might seem. For example, not everyone is destined to experience it, as many people might believe. In most cases, it results from a differently, highly preventable or treatable oral health condition. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this, and by ignoring or overlooking seemingly minor oral health concerns, they can allow their risks of tooth loss to become much higher than they expected. Today, we explore a few telling signs that you might be at a higher risk of tooth loss than you realize, and how you might be able to still prevent it and preserve your natural smile.
You have a toothache that’s getting worse
Some toothaches are severe enough that it’s obvious they’re caused by a potentially serious problem. For example, if your tooth becomes fractured or broken, the damage might expose the tooth’s nerves, causing intense levels of discomfort. However, seemingly minor toothaches can often be easy to ignore. If you find temporary relief with an over-the-counter pain reliever, then it may be just as easy to forget about it altogether for the time being. For most people, a toothache is a sign of trouble no matter how severe it is. When it seems minor, ignoring the problem can allow it to grow increasingly worse before the discomfort increases to match it.
You’re showing symptoms of gum disease
A toothache can indicate a serious problem with your tooth even if you don’t realize it. However, the most common cause of tooth loss for adults is severe gum disease, and the signs of its development can sometimes be even easier to miss or overlook. In its earliest stage, known as gingivitis, the condition might cause your gums to become more red than pink, or to develop discolored areas in certain spots. Chronic inflammation, or swelling, will also occur, though it may not be immediately noticeable at first. If you show signs of early gum disease, then it’s important to seek treatment for it as soon as possible, before it progresses and causes enough damage to raise your risks of losing one or more teeth.
You see some wisdom teeth, but not all
Your wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last set of permanent teeth to develop. Unlike your other teeth, however, third molars are extraneous, and they aren’t necessary for your bite to function at optimal levels. Because they aren’t necessary, our dental ridges can’t always accommodate them. For many people, the development of wisdom teeth means the start of serious problems due to the impaction of one or more molars. If you notice that you’ve developed one or more third molars, but don’t see them on both of your dental ridges, then the hidden ones may be impacted. If it remains, it can lead to extensive damage to your other molars, raising the risks that you might lose one or more of them or need to have them extracted them along with your impacted wisdom tooth.
Find out if you’re at-risk of losing teeth
There are many potential reasons for tooth loss to occur, and fortunately, knowing your specific risks for it can help you take steps to prevent it more successfully. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, today at 707-545-4625.