Boxers James DeGale and Badou Jack faced off earlier this week in Brooklyn, a clash that resulted in a draw. Although DeGale managed to retain his International Boxing Federation super-middleweight title, he failed to retain One of his teeth. Or, rather, he lost a dental bridge that had been replacing a tooth he’d lost long before.
The London boxer sustained damage to his ear in addition to losing two teeth, and visited a local hospital after the fight. Although he was given the all-clear and released, he’ll have to spend six months recovering before he can fight again.
How We Lose Our Teeth
Unlike James DeGale, most people don’t lose teeth as a result of a looping right uppercut. But many people do lose teeth as a result of trauma, such as a fall, a sporting accident, or a car crash. Sometimes these result in a tooth being knocked completely loose, and other times they simply result in damage that could lead to loss of the tooth if they don’t see a dentist for treatment.
But trauma isn’t the only thing that can cause tooth loss. Here are a few other common reasons people lose teeth:
- Gum Disease — About 70% of tooth loss in the United States is caused by periodontal disease. This is when your gums and the bones that support your teeth are attacked by bacteria in your mouth.
- Age — Not everyone loses teeth as they age, but bone loss is a common occurrence in seniors, and losing teeth can result in further bone loss as your body removes the bone that is no longer necessary to support the missing teeth.
- Domino Effect — Unfortunately, once you lose one tooth, it can weaken nearby teeth, leading to a “domino effect” of tooth loss. Losing teeth can also put additional pressure on your other teeth, increasing the rate at which they wear down.
While in many cases tooth loss is preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits, sometimes it’s inevitable. In those cases, you will want to consider replacing those teeth for a few reasons.
Besides the risk that leaving missing teeth poses to nearby teeth, they can also open you up to increased risk of gum disease by creating a space where food can get trapped and plaque can easily build up. Missing teeth can alter your bite, which could result in anything from jaw pain to undue pressure on other teeth or your temporomandibular joint. And of course, there’s the cosmetic fallout of losing teeth — if your missing teeth are in a highly visible area of your mouth, it can be embarrassing and impact the beauty of your smile.
Dental Implants Fill the Gap
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are the gold standard of treatment. Dental implants are the only solution that function exactly like your real teeth. Since implants are anchored in your jaw just like your natural teeth, you can use them exactly like you would if you’d never lost a tooth in the first place. You don’t need to make changes to your diet or oral health routine — and best of all, dental implants can last for the rest of your life.