Discover the truth behind these common myths about tooth loss.
The internet has a lot of incredible uses that play a vital role in our daily lives. It helps us work from home, learn about the world around us, and connect with people who live on opposite sides of the planet; it can even help spark social change. For all its benefits, though, the internet works as a form of communication between individuals, so it sometimes helps perpetuate myths. Plenty of these myths, like the myth that dogs are color-blind, are completely harmless. When it comes to your overall or oral health, however, believing the wrong “fact” can have a lasting impact.
Despite this, we understand how difficult it can be to sort fact from fiction! After all, the most popular myths tend to be the most believable, and your oral health can be complex, especially when it comes to losing and replacing teeth. Finding the truth is far from impossible, though, and it can transform the health and function of your teeth. To help you get started, we’ve decided to shine some light on the truth behind 5 of the most common misconceptions about tooth loss.
1. Myth: A toothache isn’t a big deal if I can manage it at home.
Nowadays, tooth pain remedies do a great job of allowing you to ease your symptoms right at home, but it’s important to remember that they’re all short-term solutions. When it comes right down to it, toothaches are your body’s way of telling you there’s something wrong. They can signal a range of potentially serious oral health issues, including severe cavities, advanced gum disease, a cracked tooth, a damaged filling, or an abscess. Your pain could also be a sign that you’re clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep, which can cause pain and risk injuring your teeth. If you simply manage the pain at home but leave the cause untreated, any of these issues can lead to tooth loss.
Thankfully, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Staley right away can make all the difference for your short- and long-term oral health. Getting a smaller dental treatment now is also much better for your budget and offers a long-term solution that’ll help you live pain-free again. Trust us, you’ll be glad you looked into the cause of your tooth pain right away!
2. Myth: If you experience tooth loss, your only option is partial dentures.
If you’ve lost multiple teeth, partial dentures are certainly an option, but they’re not your only one! Dental implants are another major option for you. They’re an incredibly versatile tooth replacement option that uses cutting-edge technology to restore and protect the health, function, and appearance of your missing teeth in ways other treatments simply can’t. Dental implants are so effective that many dentists consider them to be the best tooth replacement option out there! But what makes them so effective and versatile? Dental implants consist of a titanium metal rod that takes the place of your natural tooth root in your jawbone before being fitted with a crown, bridge, partial dentures, or full dentures. Taking the place of your natural tooth roots allows dental implants to provide the same stability as natural teeth. Implants also stimulate your jawbone, which prevents bone loss and keeps your jaw strong and healthy for years to come!
Additionally, Dr. Staley uses cutting-edge technology to plan your treatment, find the perfect placement for your implants, and design your restorations with your input. You choose the size, shape, and shade of your new restorations, so your new teeth are unique to you. They’ll blend into your smile so naturally that no one will know you have implants. Most importantly, having so much input about the appearance of your new teeth ensures that you’ll love the results!
3. Myth: It’s not going to hurt anything to have a missing tooth or two.
The truth is that losing a tooth impacts far more than just that tooth. Without the constant stimulation of a tooth root, your body will begin to reabsorb the jawbone in that spot. This reduces the bone density of your jaw and makes it weaker over time. Eventually, this can begin changing your face shape. Your other teeth are also impacted because they may begin to shift into the new gap in your smile. This can change the way your teeth fit together, making it harder to chew and potentially leading to other dental issues, like overcrowding, gaps between your teeth, and TMJ pain from misalignment.
All of these changes impact the appearance of your smile and face, but they might also lead to oral health issues in the future because they can make your teeth harder to clean. Over time, you may need additional dental treatments like orthodontics to resolve misalignment, overcrowding, or gaps between your teeth. Thankfully, none of this is inevitable! Replacing your missing teeth with a bridge or implants can prevent these issues before they arise. These treatment options restore the appearance and function of your smile, but they also go beyond the immediate fixes to protect your long-term oral health for years to come!
4. Myth: It’s better to just pull a tooth than do a root canal, crown, or implant.
While pulling a severely damaged or decayed tooth might seem like the simplest option, the truth is it’s not. It’s amazing how perfectly adapted your natural teeth are to do their jobs — even the best tooth loss remedies can’t quite do everything your natural teeth can. As a result, it’s almost always better for your oral health to keep as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. Root canals and dental crowns can each save a severely damaged tooth that might otherwise be lost.
Saving your natural tooth protects your jaw and your surrounding teeth in the long run, but it has other benefits too! It’s less expensive than pulling and replacing your tooth and requires fewer trips to the dentist, which has the added benefit of saving you time. It’s not always possible to save your tooth, and when it’s not, you have plenty of options to replace it! The best option is usually a dental implant because it functions like a natural tooth to protect your long-term oral health, including the bone density in your jaw and the shape of your face.
5. Myth: Tooth loss is a natural part of aging.
As you age, your risk of suffering from oral health issues, like tooth decay and gum disease, increases. These issues can lead to tooth loss if they go untreated, but that doesn’t mean losing teeth is a natural or inevitable part of aging! Taking preventive measures against oral health issues can help your teeth and gums stay healthy even as you age, but it does become increasingly important to stick to a solid oral hygiene routine. You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, floss at least once a day, and use mouthwash once or twice a day.
Visiting Dr. Staley every six months is also an incredibly important part of caring for your oral health. Your professional cleaning plays an active role in preventing decay by removing hardened tartar from your teeth and allowing Dr. Staley to spot potential oral health issues early. He can also spot parts of your mouth you may not be cleaning as well or give you advice about which mouthwash or toothpaste might be best for you. These steps are simple, but they each play a role in protecting your oral health, helping to ensure your teeth last you a lifetime!
While there are a lot of misconceptions about tooth loss out there, the good news is there are plenty of resources to help you find the truth too. If you’re having a hard time separating fact from fiction, don’t forget that you’re not in this alone! You can always call our office to schedule a consultation and ask your local dentist in Boise, ID, any questions you may have.