Concerned about tooth loss? You can keep your teeth healthy and beautiful throughout your lifetime. Assuming that you already visit your dentist regularly for professional exams, cleanings, and oral cancer screenings, there are a few other ways that you can avoid missing teeth in Pittsburgh, PA.
Checklist to Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
- Floss! The leading cause of tooth loss is periodontal (gum) disease. When you don’t clear the bacteria away from your teeth and gums with regular brushing and flossing, they infect your periodontal tissue. The first sign of infection is that your gums bleed when you brush. Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria will destroy the bone and soft tissue that support your teeth, allowing them to shift and loosen.
- Replace missing teeth immediately. Untreated tooth loss can lead to further tooth loss. How does this happen? The roots of your teeth stimulate the jaw bone, keeping it healthy. If you lose a tooth, you also lose the root, which means that the jaw bone begins to deteriorate rapidly. Also, the opposing tooth, whether upper or lower arch, no longer has a barrier to keep it in place so it may loosen and shift, too. Replacement is the key. Dental implants, with their titanium posts, are the only restoration method that replicates the function of the tooth root.
- Re-think bad habits. Smoking not only causes oral cancer, but results in dry mouth, a condition that robs you of much-needed saliva to clear away bacteria and debris. If you indulge in colas and sugary snacks, replace them with foods rich in vitamins and nutrients to keep your mouth and body healthy. If you play sports, wear a mouth guard. You can buy this protective appliance almost anywhere, though your dentist can create a comfortable, custom version for you.
If you have missing teeth in Pittsburgh, PA, schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Stypula to learn how you can restore and protect your smile. Dr. Stypula specializes in offering periodontal care and long-term reliable dental implants that look and feel like your natural teeth. Call our office today.