November 5, 2018
The environment inside your mouth is a dynamic one where there are fluctuations in temperature, different types of fluids present, lingering food particles and other factors that can contribute to the decay of your teeth. If your oral health is compromised, your dentist says it’s always best to seek a solution that involves salvaging your teeth and addressing the issue, as opposed to an extraction. Read on to learn why this is the best route to take.
What Causes Tooth Wear?
One of the major causes of tooth wear and decay is bacteria growth. They are always present in your mouth, but when you eat or drink anything other than water, they flock to any remaining leftovers and feed on them.
Over time, the bacteria form into plaque, a clear, sticky substance that can bore into the teeth and cause advanced decay if not treated in time.
Why It’s Better to Save Your Tooth
The last thing your dentist ever wants to do is extract a tooth. That’s because it opens the door to other oral health issues if not replaced in a timely fashion.
The following show some of the issues that can arise from prolonged tooth loss:
- Super Eruption – When you have prolonged tooth loss, the tooth directly above or below the vacated space can start to move in that direction and protrude from the gums in search of the missing tension. The result can be malocclusion (poor bite), and the surrounding gums can be left vulnerable to infection.
- Tipping – Movement can also occur from the teeth surrounding a missing tooth, causing them to tip or lean in the direction of the vacated space. This too can lead to infection and malocclusion.
- Bone Loss – A final danger of extended tooth loss is bone degeneration. This again is based on the fact that your teeth rely on shared tension to be healthy and stable. So when even one tooth is missing, a message is sent to the jawbone to stop or slow the production of new bone cells.
Available Options for Salvaging Your Teeth
The good news is your dentist has several options for restoring a damaged tooth and preventing an extraction. Here are some of the alternatives:
- Crown – Constructed from tooth-colored porcelain, a dental crown is a versatile form of restoring a badly damaged, worn or weakened tooth.
- Bridge – If a tooth has to be extracted, it’s important to immediately replace it, and a dental bridge provides a functional way to do it. The fixture consists of two crowns that are placed on the surrounding teeth and used as anchors (abutments) that hold the replacement prosthetic in place.
- Root Canal – For more severe decay that has reached the inner area of the tooth, your dentist may perform a root canal procedure, which involves removing the decayed tissue, filling and sealing the tooth and placing a crown.
Once your tooth is fully restored, you can return to a normal existence with a beautiful smile that functions properly.
About the Author
Dr. Michael Ryan earned his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Additionally, he completed a three-year program in Prosthodontics, which has allowed him to provide patients with more comprehensive care for over a decade. Dr. Ryan provides patients with a fresh and new start to their oral health at Ryan Dental Group, and he can be reached for more information through his website.