What are Some Common Causes of Tooth Loss?

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Common causes of tooth loss and how to avoid them.

Teeth are some of our most precious attributes. Not only do they allow us to chew our food properly, but a smile is how people present themselves to the world. This is why tooth loss can have such a devastating impact on physical appearance, dental functionality, and even mental health.

The problem is that many people are either not aware of the causes of tooth loss or they simply ignore potential dental issues. Today, we’re going to discuss the four most common causes along with bad habits that won’t take long to harm your dental health.

Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss

If you want to take care of your teeth and overall oral health, then it’s important to understand what you’re up against.

Here is a quick look at the four most common causes of tooth loss:

Periodontitis (Gum Disease)

Periodontal disease (also called periodontitis or gum disease) is by far the most common cause of tooth loss, totaling approximately 70% of all cases. It starts with bacteria and inflammation in the gums, slowly destroying the tissues and the jawbone beneath the teeth. Eventually, the teeth will no longer have any support and will begin to loosen and fall out.


Most of us are familiar with cavities because they’re typically the starting point for poor oral health. They’re caused by bacteria creating holes in the tooth, which quickly turns into tooth decay. If left untreated, then it will eventually require either a root canal or possibly even removal of the tooth. This is why brushing/flossing, visiting the dentist, and good nutrition are so paramount.

Physical Injury/Trauma

Physical injury or trauma to a tooth can be caused by a variety of situations such as a car accident, bad fall, being hit while playing a sport, and many others. While these situations are sudden and hard to avoid, other trauma to your teeth can easily be prevented. This is trauma received from using your teeth to do things other than eating, such as loosening lids, untying knots, and cutting thread.

Various Diseases

Certain diseases will make you more vulnerable to tooth loss. These include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and other such ailments. If you suffer from one or more of these diseases or any other serious medical conditions, ask your doctor for advice. He or she may set up particular dental and oral care guidelines for your specific medical needs.

Risk Factors

Two risk factors for tooth loss – being male and/or being over the age of 35 -are unavoidable. Fortunately, you have much more control over other risk factors such as avoiding the dentist, not getting routine cleanings, never using a toothbrush, smoking, poor nutrition, etc. These are considered to be bad dental habits, which we’ll go into more detail in the second section below.

Bad Dental Habits That Are Common Causes of Tooth Loss

As you can see, several causes of tooth loss are due to not maintaining good oral hygiene. Here are a few bad dental habits that you can avoid in order to prevent tooth loss and other dental problems:

Not Brushing/Flossing

Poor oral hygiene almost always begins with a lack of brushing and flossing. The truth is that many of us are busy or stressed out due to work, health, relationships, and other reasons, which can easily distract us from taking care of ourselves. If you find that you’re constantly neglecting these two activities, particularly at night when you start feeling run-down, set an alarm as a reminder or tend to your dental care a little earlier.

Lack of Dental Visits

Even when you’re able to maintain good oral health by following a strict dental care regimen, you may find yourself with cavities and other problems. This is why it’s essential that you seek professional dental and oral care in the form of routine dental exams and cleanings. Doing so every six months will help ensure that your teeth and gums remain fit as a fiddle. If you ever have any concerns between those visits, never hesitate to call your dentist for an appointment, especially in an emergency.

Poor Nutrition

Let’s be honest here – we all indulge in foods and beverages that damage our oral health. Reducing the amount of sugary and acidic foods that you ingest and brushing soon afterwards will do wonders for your teeth and gums. You should especially avoid activities such as sipping soda through a straw while at work, chewing popcorn kernels, and crunching on ice after you’ve finished a drink. These types of activities can do horrendous harm to your tooth enamel.

Smoking/Chewing Tobacco

Even though there’s been a lot more education in recent years about the dangerous effects of smoking and chewing tobacco, millions of people across the country still continue these habits. Smoking will turn your teeth yellow and cause other dental damage while chewing tobacco can harm your teeth, gums, and much worse. Also, remember that vaping isn’t much safer and can often be just as bad.

Using Teeth as a Tool

This is another habit that we’ve probably all been guilty of doing. Perhaps you couldn’t get a bottle cap to come off, so you jammed it in your back teeth to help loosen it. Or maybe a condiment package or bag of frozen food wouldn’t open, so you used your teeth as makeshift scissors.

Using your teeth as a tool can cause damage to the enamel and may even result in a fractured or chipped tooth. Do yourself a favor and avoid this at all costs.

Contact Dr. Ferullo to Deal with Causes of Tooth Loss

Dr. Ferullo is the most trusted dental professional in this great Florida community. He and his wonderful staff will take great care of your teeth and gums while providing you with dental tips to avoid more serious dental issues. If you have any questions about the causes of tooth loss or would like to like to schedule an appointment, call our St. Petersburg dentist office at (727) 822-8101 today.

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