Losing a tooth to an injury or a disease is devastating and emotionally distressing. On top of contending with the psychological effects of an incomplete smile, tooth loss can have quite a few lesser-known consequences.
For instance, losing just one tooth puts you at a higher risk for losing more in the future. It also affects the health of your jawbones. One way to manage the stress that accompanies tooth loss is to arm yourself with helpful information.
Our Lafayette dental practice has rounded up some important dos and don’ts for handling tooth loss.
Don’t: Wait Too Long to Replace a Lost Tooth
Tooth loss has a number of lesser-known effects on patients. One sometimes surprising effect of tooth loss is bone deterioration in the jaw. The roots of our teeth keep our jaws active and healthy. Without them, the body will resorb bone mass. Your jaws are the foundation of your oral health and your teeth rely on them to stay intact. Bone loss could lead to accelerated aging, problems with your occlusion (bite), and additional tooth loss.
This is why it is important to act quickly after tooth loss. We recommend scheduling a tooth replacement consultation with our dentist as soon as possible. Treatment options like dental implants can help stave off the effects of jawbone deterioration.
Do: Wear Mouthguards During Contact Sports and High-Risk Physical Activity
If you play contact sports or participate in high-risk activities without appropriate protective gear, blunt force to your face could lead to tooth loss and severe lacerations to soft tissue. Wearing a mouthguard, chin straps, and/or a helmet can help reduce the risk of injury to teeth and gums.
To help reduce your risk for painful dental injuries, our practice provides custom mouthguards. These mouthguards are made to fit your unique oral anatomy as comfortably as possible so you get the exercise you love more safely.
Do: Try to Save a Broken Tooth’s Pieces
Sometimes, a broken tooth’s pieces can be reattached. If you have chipped, broken, or cracked a tooth, try to save its pieces in milk or Save-a-Tooth solution (available at most pharmacies). Avoid placing a tooth in water, however, because it can kill living tissue. You should also take care not to touch the root of the tooth whenever possible.
Bring your tooth and its pieces to your emergency dental appointment in case it can be reattached.
Don’t: Eat Sugary or Acidic Food
If you have a broken tooth, eating sugary and acidic foods could increase your discomfort. If possible, try to refrain from eating until your emergency dental appointment. If this is not possible, try to eat something that’s soft, not overly hot or cold, and low in sugar or acid.
Do: Take Over-the-Counter Medication for Pain
Dental injuries can be uncomfortable. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help control discomfort. Be sure to take any medication exactly as recommended on its packaging.
Tooth Loss Treatment Options
Tooth loss is stressful but it can be treated. Prosthetics and dental implants can restore both your appearance and your oral function. Our practice offers dental implants, bridges, and dentures to help renew the appearance of your smile and make eating easier.
If you have suffered from tooth loss, call our Lafayette dental practice at (337) 234-2186 to reserve a tooth replacement consultation with Dr. Chauvin.