What causes tooth loss?

How to Prevent Tooth Loss From Happening to You

There are many things that can affect our lives and also indicate when something is not going well with our bodies. One big sign occurs in the mouth, and it is is tooth loss. Losing teeth is a fear that many people have, as it is a common dream that reportedly accompanies anxiety.


The American College of Prosthodontics reports that “More than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades.” This is a huge amount of people that are affected by something that might have been treatable before the tooth loss.


With this in mind, it is important to remember that here are many different factors that affect tooth loss and in some cases it can be prevented.


Poor Hygiene


Brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash are all indicators of good oral hygiene. Rinsing the mouth after a particularly sugary snack and paying attention to all negative signs and seeking attention as soon as possible are also good practices.


Additionally, drinking water to clean the mouth and replenish saliva is also a great habit. Those who let certain hygienic practices slip through the cracks regularly can put them self at an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and of course, tooth loss.


This is because without these beneficial practices, bad bacteria may flourish or there may simply be an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria in the mouth, affecting the oral microbiome. Excess bacteria, leads to excess acid in the mouth, which along with the bacteria, attack the enamel of the mouth or produce plaque and tartar. It can also lead to gum disease.

Gum disease


While this can be a factor of poor hygiene, it can also be an indicator of poor lifestyle choices. Gum disease also stems from an overgrowth of the wrong types of bacteria. These bacteria either live in the plaque on teeth or release toxins which cause inflammation or wear down teeth enamel.


If enamel is worn down it causes cavities that can lead to gum disease (especially if left untreated). If a gum that suffers from inflammation or infection is not treated properly or timely, the pulp within the tooth and/or the bone may become affected, leading to tooth loss.




Sometimes tooth loss is due to something uncontrollable such as an accident or injury. A tooth can be completely knocked out from the root. When this happens, there is a small chance the tooth may survive and be able to be reattached (unless it is a child’s milk tooth), however the window for doing so is narrow. Other times an injury, can cause the tooth to suffer a shock.


In most cases this trauma is due to the pulp being severed at the root within the tooth and therefore the tooth is no longer able to receive any blood supply. This is one of the causes of a discolored tooth as well.


Lifestyle choices


Unhealthy lifestyle choices can affect your gums. Smoking and drug use kill healthy mouth tissue. Smoking reduces oxygen in the blood, which affects gums and gum healing.  It also contains many chemicals and toxins which increase the rate of gum disease and incidence of dental plaque.


Drugs, such as meth, can cause excess acid production, dry mouth, and cravings for unhealthy foods. Acid wears away the enamel, while dry mouth and unhealthy snacks means that the teeth are not being cleaned throughout the day while they are being showered with food particles and bacteria. Additionally, alcohol can also affect the mouth by causing more acid production.


While the polyphenols in alcohol can protect teeth, there is simply not enough protection to justify drinking, especially when some foods also have polyphenols as well.




Certain cancers, thyroid issues, bodily deficiencies, diabetes and HIV/AIDS are just a few of the illnesses that can manifest symptoms in the mouth. In other cases they can put you at an increased risk of developing certain mouth conditions that can lead to tooth decay, if not treated immediately.


It is important to pay attention to the health of your mouth to prevent losing a tooth, or to notice signs of other conditions within the body. Leading a healthier lifestyle will not only benefit your body but the benefits will extend to your mouth and immune system as well.


If you find that you are the victim of tooth loss or are experiencing issues that are indicative of losing a tooth, visit Implants & Gumcare in Carrollton or Grapevine, Texas. The expertise of Dr. Kumar T Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, and Board Certified Periodontal Surgeon, can assess your situation and help save your teeth!