Why Does Tooth Loss Happen?

Why Does Tooth Loss Happen?

Posted by Really Smile Mar 12, 2016

Tooth Loss in Carmel, IN

There are two reactions you can have when you lose a tooth, and they’re both separated by a number of years and a lot of growing up. First, you might get excited about a visit from the tooth fairy, or that you’re growing up. Second, you might react with horror and panic – those aren’t supposed to fall out!

Tooth loss can strike your permanent teeth, and when it does it’s terrifying. If you’re worried about the potential of tooth loss, or have already lost teeth, you might be wondering what could happen and how to stop it. Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common causes of tooth loss that we see at our Carmel dentist office. With the knowledge you find here you may very well be able to stop your own teeth from falling out one by one!

Gum Disease

When tooth loss happens to adults the safe bet is that it had to do with gum disease. This horrible condition strikes nearly 60 percent of adults, and is responsible for most of the tooth loss that happens around the world.

Gum disease is serious stuff, and it’s easy to develop it as well. When oral bacteria gets beneath your gums it causes an infection that is accompanied by red, inflamed gums, bleeding when brushing, sensitivity, and even gum recession. And those are just the opening round of problems: it keeps getting worse!

As gum disease develops is causes serious infections around your teeth that start to eat away that the bones that support them – a sure fire way to end up with tooth loss. It doesn’t just stop with a single tooth either. Gum disease causes bone loss that will start a chain reaction of lost teeth until there isn’t a single one left.

Tooth Decay

Cavities start out small, and they move slow, but without treatment they will completely destroy a tooth. Caused by the same oral bacteria that is responsible for gum disease, tooth decay is the result of plaque acids eroding enamel and giving bacteria a place to hide: inside your teeth.

Tooth decay will keep going deeper and deeper into your teeth until it hits the dental pulp at the center. The pulp contains all the blood vessels and nerves that feed your teeth, and when a cavity reaches that level you’ll end up with a serious infection that’s typically treated with a root canal.

Root canals are able to resolve most serious cases of infection, but there are incidents when it’s impossible to repair a tooth due to how much of it has been destroyed. In those circumstances one of two things will happen: either we’ll extract the tooth at Really Smile Dentistry or it will eventually be destroyed and fall out on its own.

If a tooth is decayed to the point that it naturally falls out you’re in serious danger. There’s a good possibility the infection in the tooth has spread beyond it, forming an abscess that can cause serious illness.


Accidents happen, and your teeth aren’t exempt from the trauma of a sports injury, a car accident, or even just a fall while bringing the groceries inside. Traumatic injuries can do a lot of damage to your teeth, even knocking them out in some cases.

If a tooth is knocked out due to an accident there’s a good chance that we can save it, especially if we see you right away. The other possibility is that a tooth is fractured so badly that there’s no possibility of leaving in place, forcing us to extract the remaining pieces.

There’s only so much you can do to prevent traumatic injury to your teeth, especially in day-to-day living. If you are an athlete, though, you need to be sure you’re protecting your teeth with a proper mouthguard!

Lost Teeth Can Be Restored

When you lose a tooth you may find yourself wondering what to do. Thankfully you don’t have to look too far for a solution. Our Carmel dental team can offer both bridges and dental implants as solutions to lost teeth. It’s up to you to decide which one will be best for you.

If you’re worried about gum disease or tooth decay that could put you at risk for tooth loss it’s never too late to have a comprehensive exam to be sure you’re safe. Call Really Smile Dentistry today at 317-597-8748 to schedule an appointment, or simply fill out our online form! We look forward to keeping your smile safe!

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