Edentulism or tooth loss robes the ability to chew and properly digest food. It also has social, psychological and emotional consequences that have a great impact on the quality of life and on self-esteem. Edentulism results when one or more teeth are missing or need to remove due to injury or disease. With full tooth loss, all teeth are missing and with partial edentulism, one or more teeth will be missing. Despite advancement in dentistry, edentulism is a major health problem worldwide. Therefore we need a better understanding of disease indicator for establishing the solid strategy for an organized oral health care system to prevent and to treat this disease.
Risks And Causes
Even though Edentulism or tooth loss is typically associated with elderly it may also affect children, if they do not practice proper oral hygiene.
- Children: Children runs at the risk of two types of traumatic tooth loss: premature loss of baby teeth and loss of permanent teeth due to injury. Dental caries is the major cause of tooth loss in children and teens.
- Adults: Gum disease and dental caries are leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection affecting gums and bones that support the teeth. The disease destroys the gum tissue and bone, so the tooth loosen requires extraction. Smoking, heart disease and diabetes are associated with tooth loss.
- Elderly: Gum recession, older filling, plaque accumulation, dry mouth put the elderly at the risk for teeth loss.
Studies reveal that tooth loss is caused by gum disease that is associated with the risk indicators that includes age, gender, smoking, poor oral hygiene, diabetes mellitus etc.
Causes of edentulism are listed below:
Poor Oral Hygiene Habits: Not brushing and flossing causes the development and progression of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Poor diet: Foods, beverages, carbohydrates, acids cause tooth loss and gum disease.
- Lack of education: Lack of education regarding oral hygiene leads people taking the proper lifestyle and oral health care measures from getting necessary restorative treatment.
- Trauma: Many suffers from losing teeth due to trauma because their tooth roots and guns are still in the development stage. If parents didn’t take proper steps to deal with dental trauma, their children’s oral health will permanently get affected.
- Systemic conditions: Heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, malnutrition are all associated with forms of periodontitis and results in tooth loss.
- Medical treatments: Treatments like chemotherapy and other medications weaken the immune system and these lead to the risk of tooth infections and leads to tooth extraction.
Consequences of Edentulism or Tooth Loss
- Pain, distress and relaxation problems.
- Self-consciousness, dissatisfaction due to loss of a tooth.
- Mental anxiety.
- Social embarrassment and isolation.
- Ashamed to seek dental treatment.
- Patients need to undergo a treatment plan in order to keep the remaining teeth. Prevention and detection strategies include patient education on the disease, consequences and treatments. Even though teeth loss is unavoidable, there are several options for restoring teeth and smile.
- Dental Implants are artificial tooth roots that are attached to the jaw to secure a replacement tooth, bridge or denture. Therefore, these are used with a denture for better stabilization.
- Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and the tissues adjoining it.
- A dental bridge is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill or to bridge the space left by the missing tooth.
Finding the Dentists!
General dentists are qualified to provide care for edentulous patients, they choose to consult or refer patients to qualified specialists. Prosthodontists are concentrated on the replacement of missing teeth and on the restoration of natural teeth. For the successful outcome, make sure you receive treatment from a professional dentist.
Expect that you understand about the edentulism or tooth loss. Beware of this problem, practice good oral hygiene and keep your healthy and safe.