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October 9, 2017

8 common causes of tooth loss

There are around 27 million people in the UK with a missing tooth*. This can have a significant impact on your quality of life and on your confidence. Certain foods become off limits, it can cause facial distortion and if you have a missing tooth in a visible place, it can also cause you to become embarrassed or self-conscious. People suffer from tooth loss for various reasons. Our blog looks at some of the most common reasons for missing teeth and some important tips on how to prevent it!

1. Injury or trauma

Ever knocked your tooth during an incident or injured it in sport? This is a common cause of tooth loss. Even if the trauma doesn’t knock the tooth clean out, it can sometimes cause damage to the root nerves, eventually leading to tooth loss if the pulp is unrepairable. In this case, the best thing to is to get to your dentist as quickly as possible and see if the damage can be repaired. If you play contact sport, always make sure you are wearing a fitted gumshield to protect the teeth. Custom-made mouthguards are much more effective.

2. Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking have been shown to significantly increase your chances of gum disease – a common cause of tooth loss. According to the Oral Health Foundation those of us that drink and smoke are three times more likely to suffer from severe gum disease** and are therefore at a much higher risk of losing a tooth. Smoking is particularly bad for our oral health as it slows down our ability to fight off gum disease as it weakens the body’s immune system. This makes it more difficult for the gum to heal and increases the likelihood of tooth loss.

3. Gum disease

Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. It is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth which eventually irritates the gums and causes them to become red and swollen. If gum disease isn’t treated, it is likely to lead to periodontitis which can cause the teeth to become loose and fall out. If your gums bleed when you brush, this can often be a sign of gum disease and you should book an appointment with your dentist for further advice.

4. Bruxism

Bruxism (or tooth grinding) puts extreme pressure on your teeth and can cause them to wear away, crack or break. In some cases, bruxism can cause the teeth to become loose, sometimes leading to tooth loss. Bruxism can be difficult to self-diagnose as you often do it unknowingly in your sleep. Trained dental professionals can often tell if the teeth are being worn down due to bruxism, so it is important to see your dentist for a professional opinion.

5. Poor diet

We all know that a poor diet with high sugar foods is a recipe for disaster when it comes to our teeth but a low calcium diet can also impact our oral health. Calcium is known for keeping the bones strong, making it a highly important nutrient for our teeth. Foods such as low-fat dairy products, almonds and certain vegetables like spinach and kale are a great source of calcium for our teeth. Not having enough of these in your diet could be having a negative impact on your teeth.

6. Avoiding your dentist

Even if your oral hygiene routine is first-class, you still need regular visits with your dentist. A dentist will be able to foresee any issues with your teeth and rectify them before they become a bigger problem. They can also perform a much deeper clean on your teeth that just isn’t possible at home. Those that avoid the dentist are much more likely to encounter issues with their teeth that could eventually result in tooth loss.

7. Misaligned teeth

If you have gaps in your teeth or overcrowding, it could be affecting your oral health. Plaque is more likely to build up in areas of the mouth that are overcrowded and gaps tend to put more pressure on surrounding teeth. Most people have braces throughout their teenage years to help correct this, however, sometimes people miss out on treatment or their teeth shift back out of place as they get older. Without resolving misaligned teeth, it could lead to issues with decay and perhaps even tooth loss. That is why adult orthodontics could be your best solution.

8. Diabetes

Diabetes is known to compromise the body’s immunity and ability to fight infections. This makes it much harder for diabetic people to fight against gum disease and periodontitis, increasing their susceptibility to tooth loss. A diabetic’s increased risk of tooth loss makes it that much more important for them to maintain a strict oral hygiene routine and regular appointments with their dentist. This can reduce the likelihood of gum disease occurring in the first place and allow dentists to monitor them more closely.


If you have suffered from tooth loss, you don’t have to tolerate living with a missing tooth. Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real teeth and are a fully permanent solution. Fitted securely into the jawbone, they act and feel just like your real teeth – you won’t even realise they are a replacement!

For more information on dental implants, get in touch with Ten Implant Centre.


*There are around 27 million people in the UK with a missing tooth

** Those of us that drink and smoke are three times more likely to suffer from severe gum disease


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