Gideon Sundback designed the modern zipper in the early 1900’s. Since then, the design has been improved greatly. Early manufacturing materials included only metal while today’s zippers can be made from plastic and other sources. You find zippers in clothing, on backpacks, purses, tents, boat windows, sleeping bags, suitcases, and in many other applications. When a tooth is missing on a zipper, the zipper doesn’t function properly. In fact, the item the zipper supports doesn’t function properly. When you lose a tooth from your mouth, a similar problem occurs. Riverside Dental Group discusses how missing teeth can result in an improperly functioning mouth.

Causes of Tooth Loss

The main cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Generally, gum disease results from poor dental care, although some medical conditions, such as diabetes, are linked with gum disease. People who do not brush and floss properly each day trap food and bacteria in their mouths and between their teeth. Plaque forms along the gum line. When plaque hardens, the substance becomes tartar. Plaque and tartar that are not cleaned can build up and damage the gum tissue. Gums may feel tender, bleed, and become inflamed. This part of gum disease is called gingivitis. If the gingivitis is not successfully treated, the gums weaken and pockets form along the gum line. Bacteria grow inside the pockets, further damaging gum tissue. This condition is known as periodontitis. At this stage of gum disease, the jawbone may sustain damage. Teeth may become loose and eventually fall out.

Tooth loss can be cause by trauma. A fall or a car accident, for example, may knock out a tooth. A tooth may be damaged in an accident, but not enough to be knocked out. The damage plus use over time may require tooth removal at a later date. Self-inflicted damage results from bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, which often occurs at night. Tooth enamel is worn and, over time, the grinding can weaken the teeth. If the tooth is severely damaged, it may require removal.

Problems Created by Tooth Loss

Like a zipper needs its teeth, your jaw needs its teeth. The jawbone forms a bond with each tooth. The roots of each tooth create a job for the jawbone: to hold them in place. An exchange occurs as the roots stimulate the jaw and keep it healthy. If the roots of the tooth are missing, the jaw becomes less healthy. Minerals that would be directed to the jawbone are redirected to other parts of the body. When the minerals are sent elsewhere, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. Over a period of time, the bones in the face can deteriorate and collapse, changing the facial structure and creating potential problems with speaking, eating, and swallowing.

Visit Riverside Dental Group to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Adult tooth loss can take a toll on a person’s overall quality of life. At Dental Associates of Riverside, we can discuss effective means of gum disease prevention in our 92506 dentist office to help you avoid tooth loss. We can discuss dental implants should tooth loss occur. We offer comprehensive dental care and multi-specialty dentistry to our patients of all ages. Contact us by calling (951) 369-1001 to schedule an appointment today. We welcome patients from Riverside and all neighboring communities in Southern California.