For many cases of dental damage and disease, tooth loss is the worst-case scenario. For instance, gum disease and tooth decay can lead to the loss or necessary extraction of one or more teeth, but only when the issues are ignored long enough to do their destructive work. Despite the prevalence of tooth loss among aging adults, the condition is highly preventable with the right care, regular maintenance, and diligent attention to detail. Your Livingston dentists may be experts at tooth restoration and replacement, including the use of dental implants; however, they advise preventing tooth loss to begin with and preserving as much of your natural smile as possible. The Basics of Hygiene The beginnings of tooth decay and gum disease alike can be found in the dental plaque that occasionally accumulates on your teeth. The sticky biofilm contains over 600 different kinds of oral bacteria, some of which are infectious and specifically target your teeth or gum tissue. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day, at least twice a day, helps prevent plaque buildup, but the spots you miss can calcify (harden) into tartar, which can’t be removed with a toothbrush or floss. To ensure your mouth stays clean, attend a dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months, or more often if recommended by your dentist. Beware the Warning Signs Most people have experienced a toothache at least once, for various possible reasons. Most often, it’s because of an advancing dental issue. Bacterial acid can slowly destroy tooth enamel (the protective layer of minerals surrounding your teeth), exposing the tooth’s more sensitive structure to irritation. Early signs of gum disease include red, swollen, and bleeding gums, and as it advances, it can expose your sensitive teeth roots. If you notice signs of dental trouble in between regular checkups, then contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. In Case of Tooth Loss Unfortunately, diligent hygiene and careful attention must be a continuous process to prove effective. Skipping the toothbrush once in a while or neglecting your dental checkup every now and then can allow dental issues to develop. Patients who lose one or more teeth to dental injury or infection often turn to dental implants to restore their smiles’ function. As prosthetic root devices, dental implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone, and can support a dental crown, partial denture, or full denture, depending on the extent of a patient’s tooth loss. By replacing lost teeth roots, implants can stabilize your replacement teeth with a lifelike support system, and they can help preserve your jawbone’s integrity by restoring the stimulation of embedded teeth roots. Without root stimulation, the jawbone can suffer from a decreased supply of nutrients, eventually deteriorating enough to cause further tooth loss if not addressed. About The Silverstrom Dental Group: At The Silverstrom Dental Group, we believe in advancing the art of dentistry to benefit as many patients as possible. To schedule an appointment with highly-trained professionals who truly care about you and your smile, contact us today at (973) 797-9345.