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Taking care of our teeth is probably one of the first things we learn about health, and for many of us, a strict oral health regime is something we take seriously.

Of course, we’re all familiar with the classic advise – avoid too many sugary snacks and drinks, steer clear of coffee and red wine, if you want to avoid staining, and, of course, the importance of flossing religiously.  However, when it comes to preserving the lifespan of our teeth, there are still a few lessons to learn.

So even after all those years of brushing, here are five things you might not know about tooth loss…

  1.  Acid Levels in Food – Each time you eat, the levels of acid in your mouth rise dramatically.  It then takes a full hour for the acidity levels to return to a normal balance.  When acid levels are raised consistently, as a result of regularly eating sweet treats, you become a serious risk of tooth decay.  To best protect your teeth, make sure you limit those sugary intakes to an absolute minimum and rather than making a sweet snack last all day, try to consume it on one sitting so the acid levels are only raised once.
  2. Playing Sports – Bad news for the sports people out there: Unfortunately, sports and missing teeth often go hand in hand!  Whether it’s a cricket ball to the face or a collision on the rugby pitch, knocking out a tooth can easily happen if you don’t take the necessary precautions.  Take a lead from professional athletes and wear a mouth guard to help protect your teeth during high-impact activities. If you are unlucky enough to have a tooth knocked out while playing a sport, hold onto it, store it in saliva or milk and get straight to the dentist as you may be able to have it put back in.
  3. Tooth Grinding – Many of us will end up clenching or grinding our teeth at some point in our lives – often this can happen completely subconsciously.  While occasional grinding isn’t usually harmful, if it happens regularly it can wear away teeth and also put strain on the surrounding tissue, gum and bone.  Without this supporting bone, your teeth could become loose and eventually fall out.  Grinding is often caused by stress or anxiety, but can also be a result of abnormal or crooked teeth.  It’s therefore important that you book an appointment with your dentist immediately if you notice grinding, as they will be able to advise on prevantive methods and solutions.
  4. Smoking and poor oral hygiene – Can genetics impact tooth loss?  Of course, environmental factors play a significant role in this too – namely a history of poor oral hygiene and smoking.  While you can’t control your gender or your age, avoiding smoking and ensuring you are keeping on top of your day-to-day dental hygiene is always possible.
  5. There is a solution – A missing tooth needn’t be a lifelong problem.  There are many solutions available, including dental implants, which provide a long-term, safe, natural looking replacement for missing or badly damaged teeth, according to the team at Zadeh Dental.

The best thing to do if you have a missing or damaged tooth is to visit your dentists to talk through the options available to you.