Tooth loss is one of the most common diseases of civilization. In most cases, a wrong diet combined with a lack of oral hygiene is the cause of tooth loss.
In most cases, a wrong diet combined with a lack of oral hygiene is the cause of tooth loss.
Tooth loss is the loss of teeth. Everyone experiences a tooth loss during their adolescence, which serves to change from deciduous to permanent dentition. However, this process must be distinguished from the disease-related tooth loss in later years of life.
The displacement of the milk teeth is part of the normal development and the associated tooth loss is completely different in the course of the tooth loss in the second half of life: This leads to the regression of the milk tooth roots, causing them to lose their hold and ultimately fail.
When we talk about tooth loss, we generally refer to the processes of the later years of life.However, this tooth loss is not based on normal signs of age, rather it is a pathological loss of the tooth-holding apparatus. The regression of the bone mass of the jaw eventually leads to the feared tooth loss.
Tooth loss can have many causes. The rare triggers include poisoning, for example with mercury. In addition, metabolic diseases such as diabetes are responsible for tooth loss. Inadequate nutrition can also cause tooth loss.
The lack of vitamin C once led to scurvy. This "avitaminosis" of ascorbic acid used to be considered an occupational disease of seafarers, who almost always suffered from tooth loss.
In the western industrialized nations, periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. Eating too much is the starting point of the syndrome, which affects almost everyone over 40 years of age. An excess of sugar and starch in our food is considered to be the main factor behind tooth loss due to periodontal disease.
Because the carbohydrates form the basis of nutrition for bacteria that trigger the inflammatory process of periodontal disease. In the final stage, bone loss then leads to tooth loss.
Tooth loss due to periodontal disease always begins with an inflammation of the gums. This “gingivitis” is triggered by microbes that are found in large numbers on unbrushed teeth and form whole lawns of bacteria, so-called “plaques”.
If the pathogens get under the gums, infectious tissue damage begins there. In the initial stage there are no symptoms, only as the process progresses does the patient notice that bleeding occurs when brushing their teeth. Now the dentist can determine the formation of gingival pockets and determine their depth.
An X-ray will reveal whether the inflammation has already reached the jawbone. In this case, a decrease in bone substance is initially visible between the teeth. If left untreated, this degeneration of the tooth retention apparatus can cause the teeth to loosen. If periodontitis has progressed this far, it usually leads to tooth loss.
In the event of tooth loss, it is usually necessary to see a dentist to correct the problem. Here, an implant is usually inserted in the place of the failed tooth, which looks exactly like the real tooth. Those who do not go to the dentist when their teeth fail have little chance of a cure.
This creates wounds and open areas in the mouth, which usually do not heal on their own and should not be treated by a doctor. If no dentist is visited, tooth loss can lead to further teeth failing. In addition, inflammation of the gums and inflammation of the surrounding tooth roots often develop.
A root treatment is necessary here. The patient cannot treat the tooth loss himself and has to consult a doctor. In most cases, medical treatment is also provided on an outpatient basis so that critical areas can be covered with a filling. Anyone who opts for an implant has a very good chance of healing and improvement.
In the oral cavity, an implant behaves like an ordinary tooth and does not differ optically from the other teeth. Therefore, the treatment of tooth loss is usually successful and the patient can eat and drink as usual.
Tooth loss occurs either as a result of external violence or as a result of caries. In both cases, the following applies: The loss of a tooth should always be treated by a doctor. The permanent lack of one or more teeth can cause permanent damage to the rest of the teeth and jaw. So if you have lost a tooth, you shouldn't wait long to see the dentist. Serious complications can only be avoided through prompt treatment.
However, if you forego medical or drug treatment in such a case, you run a risk. If a tooth falls out, an open wound is created at the same time. Poor oral hygiene can lead to severe inflammation at this point. Bacteria and viruses can lodge in this open wound, causing the affected area to become infected. At the latest when pus forms, an appropriate doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. If a doctor does not seek treatment, the inflammation can even turn into an abscess.
Extreme caution is required with an abscess, because in the worst case scenario, blood poisoning can even occur. If you want to avoid such serious complications early on, you should contact a dentist immediately in the event of sudden tooth loss.
Avoiding tooth loss is therefore the goal of periodontal treatment. In mild cases, the dentist starts cleaning and disinfecting the gingival pockets after removing the tartar. This "curettage" takes place under local anesthesia and is usually repeated several times.
In addition to this conservative therapy, surgical methods are available for severe cases. If the gum pockets are very deep, the dentist must make relief cuts between the teeth in order to be able to clean the pockets completely. Laser treatment is a bloodless alternative. It is gentler than surgery with a scalpel and promises better chances of recovery.
However, surgical curettage has the advantage that a loss of substance in the jawbone can be compensated for. This is done by introducing materials that can partially replace the bone. In addition, membranes are also used that stimulate new bone tissue to form.
In addition to these measures, antibiotics are often required. This systemic medication supports the use of disinfecting rinsing solutions, which the sick person should also use regularly himself. In this way, the patient's initiative and cooperation ultimately prevent tooth loss.
It is usually not possible to stop tooth loss when it has already started on a particular tooth. However, the doctor can limit the damage and prevent the remaining teeth from falling out. If the tooth loss occurs on the milk teeth in children, it is a common symptom. The permanent teeth then grow back in the respective places.
If the tooth loss occurs in an adult, an implant can be placed in the affected area. As a rule, the treatment, manufacture and use of the implant require a relatively long period of time in which the patient has to do without the respective tooth.
After use, the implant remains in the oral cavity for an indefinite period of time. There is usually no pain or other discomfort, and ideally the implant will last in the oral cavity for its entire life. If the tooth loss is not treated, it can lead to inflammation and infections in the oral cavity, so that the other teeth and also the gums can be affected.
The tooth loss is usually also associated with pain, so that normal ingestion of food and fluids is no longer possible.
So preventing tooth loss begins with oral hygiene. Today the dentist routinely teaches his patients about effective teeth brushing in prophylactic exercises. To clean the interdental spaces, people should learn how to floss and get used to it permanently.
The teeth should be checked every six months. On this occasion, the dentist also removes the tartar as part of a professional teeth cleaning. All of these preventive measures prevent periodontal tooth loss.
If a tooth fails, this should definitely be discussed with the dentist so that appropriate treatment can be initiated and serious complications can be avoided. If available, the failed tooth should be stored in a tooth rescue box and taken with you for a medical examination. Alternatively, the tooth can also be stored in an isotonic saline solution, alcohol or long-life milk. Saliva is also a short-term solution.
In addition, general first aid measures apply: if a tooth fails, you have to stay calm, cool the affected area and call in the emergency dentist. The dentist needs all the information necessary to prepare a suitable treatment and to reinsert the tooth. However, the tooth should not be used on its own, as this can permanently damage the root fibers and nerve endings.
The tooth crown should also not be cleaned without medical advice. It makes more sense to consult a doctor immediately and to cool the affected area slightly during this time. If the tooth fails as a result of an accident, the emergency room must be visited immediately. Heavy bleeding in the tooth cavity can be relieved with a cloth handkerchief or gauze bandage.