3 Reasons People May Benefit From Dentures or Dental Implants Early in Life

You don't have to live with missing teeth

Repairing Tooth Loss During Any Life Stage

Tooth loss is often associated with advancing age, but this stereotype can be harmful. The truth is tooth loss is something adults of all ages can experience, whether they’re 18 or 80. People can be missing teeth for many reasons, some of which aren’t even within a person’s control.

Although experiencing tooth loss at an early age can trigger feelings of embarrassment or shame, remember you aren’t alone in this journey. Adults aged 20 to 34 have an average of two or more missing teeth, not including wisdom teeth extractions, and roughly 1% will have no remaining teeth.

Modern restorative dentistry has made it possible to erase the signs of your battle with tooth loss and achieve an outstanding level of optimal health that’s easier to maintain. Remember that you may have gaps at the moment, but it’s only a temporary obstacle in your journey toward a full, healthy smile.

Why Tooth Loss Happens at a Young Age

There are several reasons why a young adult might lose a tooth at an early age, but they can often be categorized into these three common causes.

1. Dental Trauma

Dental trauma includes injuries and accidents that result in tooth loss. The loss may be immediate, like a tooth is knocked out entirely, or delayed, such as a damaged tooth that “dies” weeks or even months after a facial impact.

If you participate in contact sports, like football, hockey, or martial arts, you’re at a much higher risk for dental trauma. It’s imperative that you wear a properly fitted mouth guard, even if you only play, or compete, as a hobby or at an amateur level.

Even when playing low-contact sports like basketball, soccer, or baseball, strongly consider protecting your teeth. There’s a reason why most professional players choose to wear a mouth guard, even though it isn’t officially required.

2. Medical Conditions

Your mouth and body share a strong connection. Poor oral health can increase the risks of certain systemic diseases, and medical conditions can also negatively impact oral health. Both congenital and non-congenital diseases, or disorders, can be linked to tooth loss.

Medical conditions that can significantly heighten the risks of tooth loss include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypophosphatasia
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Female Hormone Disorders

It’s important that your dentist is always kept informed of any new health diagnoses or changes to existing health conditions.

For example, if your diabetes has recently become difficult to control and your doctor needs to change your treatment plan, be sure your dentist is also informed during your next check-up. Your preventive dental care plan may need reevaluation to address the increased risk of tooth loss or oral disease.

3. Extensive Damage

The most common reason for tooth loss is irreparable damage from untreated tooth decay and gum disease. Modern restorative dental care is capable of fixing more dental issues than ever before, but sometimes it isn’t feasible to save a tooth. 

Rampant tooth decay can damage a tooth enough to lead to infection and necessary extraction, but gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. 

Periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease, can cause infections or abscesses around teeth, or the infection can spread to the jawbone. In either case, the gum tissue and jawbone may not be able to support the teeth, resulting in removal. Tooth decay often damages teeth individually, but periodontitis can, at worst, lead to an entire arch of teeth needing to be extracted.

Tooth Replacement Options for All Ages

Dentures are a classic tooth replacement option for treating extensive tooth loss. A partial denture can fill in the gaps if you still have some natural teeth. Complete or full dentures are used for replacing an entire missing arch of teeth.

Dentures are affordable and comfortable when properly fitted, but they do have a few downsides that can make them unappealing to young adults.

First, the idea of wearing dentures, something your own grandparents may wear, can feel awkward or embarrassing. Second, dentures can change how you live your life, especially when it comes to socializing and meals. You might feel self-conscious about eating with dentures, worry about them coming loose, or feel unhappy that you might not be able to eat certain types of foods you once loved.

Consider upgrading to dental implants.

Dental implants make a fantastic alternative to partial and complete dentures. Individual dental implants can fill in gaps, while an implant-supported denture can replace a missing arch in a full-mouth reconstruction makeover. Your new smile will look ultrarealistic and feel like real teeth. After the healing period, you’ll be able to return to a normal diet, and you won’t need to worry about anything slipping out of place while talking or chewing.

Find the best prosthodontics in Washington DC at MASC Dental Studio.

If you’re facing impending tooth loss, have already lost teeth in the past, or you’re unhappy with your dentures, schedule a consultation to see how we can help you. Dr. Enjati and his team provide a welcoming, judgment-free environment to help people of all ages conquer tooth loss and regain stunning, healthy smiles.