Let’s Start At The Beginning!
What if a tooth bud melted inside a baby fetus before anyone noticed? Babies DNA develop tooth buds at 6 weeks in utero (50% nature), but the moment that zygote forms; it’s subjected to the other 50%- mom and environmental factors such as:
∙ Foreign viruses, fungi, and bacteria that begin to erode what could be a perfect baby mouth. For example, STDs such as syphilis can change the shape of teeth and turn them into funny looking mulberry molars.
∙ Sometimes it’s mom’s fevers, rather than pathogens themselves, that denature and permanently melt tooth buds during the development process.
∙ Environmental factors like fluoride in drinking water can create a white porous surface on the enamel (fluorosis) and later decay easily, contrary to what most dental companies claim.
∙ Premature births caused by mom’s gum disease or accidents (as in not having enough time in mother’s belly to fully develop the teeth) are a main reason why babies have much fewer teeth to begin with.
∙ Most youngsters of current generations are already missing their wisdom teeth. Some researchers believe it’s due to generational consumption of sugar that brought us to this vast change. What an awesome
advancement in evolution. No more wisdom teeth extractions! Sweeeet!
Since we are on the topic of sugar, which to us is almost as abundant as air or water- let’s not forget that in addition to it giving us cavities, it creates enough inflammation while growing up that it does not allow jaw bones to develop properly. Today’s children have more crooked teeth than previous generations because our mouths are getting smaller and not big enough for our sugar enlarged tongues.
If a cavity is large enough it will form an infection called a “dental endodontic abscess” that forms inside the tooth. There are two solutions to that: extraction of the tooth or a root canal.
∙ Loss of a tooth is unfortunate but new developments in tooth regeneration are taking place every day!
Human teeth contain an amazing combination of stem cells able to grow into anything we want them to- perhaps another tooth? Until then we are stuck having to make decisions on what to do with infected teeth (i.e. root canal treat them or remove them).
∙ Root canalled teeth have their own set of problems like the one upcoming…
4. EXTERNAL RESORPTION
Yet another way to lose a tooth after a root canal, or even before a tooth erupts, is by external resorption. In a small underdeveloped mouth, teeth tend to run into one another while trying to grow and move around resulting in damaging one another while crowded in the bone. However, if they are finally lucky enough to break through, the first thing that will land on them is whatever is fed to them via food/drink and saliva.
5. Internal Resorption
This is a bit elusive through a process which does not have a definite etiology other than some form of trauma such as:
∙ Something as simple as one day biting uncomfortably onto a fork and discovering 10 years later that the tooth (instead of fracturing and
developing an abscess) melted from the inside out then most times needs to be extracted. At this point it may not hurt, but is at high risk to break at a most inopportune time.
∙ A common form of trauma resulting in a tooth fracture comes from sporting events. Violent events lead to another extreme etiological factor of tooth loss which leads us to #6…
If a tooth is completely displaced from its socket in the alveolar bone, maintained in saliva and reimplanted with hours, it has a pretty good chance of being “reaccepted” by the body. So if your child loses a permanent tooth on a playground, don’t toss it! It may later become ankylosed with the bone (fused permanently, almost impossible to ever remove) but it will still be there and not lost.
Our next process is also due to trauma but this time micro-trauma of clenching and/or grinding at night (nocturnal bruxism). Next month’s blog will be all about forces of bruxism and how in addition to wearing the teeth down so that there is none left, they also cause teeth to chip at the gum line. Known as…
Abfractions are simply narrowing necks of teeth as they twist and turn in the bone. Some dentists place composite fillings on them to cover the chipped root surface in an effort to avoid further loss of dentin as the patient continues to brush. Before committing to a plastic composite resin on a tooth, a better option to consider is a pinhole gum lift procedure.
9. Periodontal Disease
The most common cause for tooth loss! Periodontal disease causes the teeth to loosen in the bone due to contagious oral bacteria. Because there is so much to discuss with this very common but serious gum disease, we will be sharing a blog about it in September…so stay tuned!
10. Last but not least is IATROGENIC
This can be unintentionally caused by a dentist, a physician/surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures.