Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.
We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health.
A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when his first tooth comes in.
Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer.