Your teeth were meant to last for life, but for most, not every one of them makes it to the curtain-call. In fact, statistics show that, on average, American adults have lost as many as ten teeth by their 50th birthday. Since you only have 32 teeth maximum, losing up to a third of them by middle age can be a serious challenge.
While missing teeth are relatively common, most people don’t realize that a lost tooth can start a cascade of negative consequences. So one thing the Chesapeake Bay Dentistry team wants you to avoid doing is nothing. Instead, here is our recommended response to your unique circumstances.
Was Your Tooth Knocked Out?
Many people lose a tooth through trauma when an otherwise healthy tooth gets knocked out. In this situation, dentists call this an avulsed tooth. If the tooth is intact, the good news is that you may save it with some quick action.
If you have an avulsed tooth, we strongly suggest the following course:
- Handle the tooth by the top; avoid touching the tooth root.
- Gently remove dirt and debris, but don’t rinse excessively.
- If possible, reinsert the tooth into its empty socket, hold it with gauze or your tongue.
- Where you can’t reinsert it, place the tooth in a container of saliva or warm milk.
- Call our Annapolis dentist's office immediately.
Missing Teeth Can Have Dire Consequences
In the case of extractions or gradual tooth loss, saving your original tooth may not be an option. However, the last thing you want to do is leave a gap in your smile over the long term. This is because your teeth work best as a team, each with its role to play.
When a teammate is absent, you may suffer from:
- Bite misalignment as remaining teeth shift towards the gap
- Bone loss in your jaw
- Inability to effectively chew
- Further tooth loss
At Chesapeake Bay Dentistry, we can offer you numerous options for replacing missing teeth. From traditional dentures and bridges to dental implants, our goal is to match the best restoration option for your smile.
Lost and Missing Teeth in Annapolis, MD
For people who’ve lost one or more teeth, we hope you better understand how and why missing teeth should be saved or replaced. To learn more, we invite you to call our Annapolis dental office to arrange an appointment.