What Are Compromised Teeth?

phoenix_dentist_examCompromised teeth are teeth that are in danger—of decay, of misalignment, of damage so severe, they’ll need to be removed.  “There are a lot of reasons a tooth becomes compromised,” says Dr. Carol Ford in her Phoenix office. “Danger can come in a variety of ways—everything from poor dental hygiene, to diet, to periodontal disease. Fortunately, many situations that compromise teeth can be avoided,” adds Dr. Ford.

The easiest fix for diet problems is to avoid sugars. Sugars encourage bacterial growth, and bacterial growth leads to cavities.

According to the Website webmd.com, “as the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food you eat, they make acids. The acids [continue to] attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.” A decayed tooth needs to be taken care of promptly. Once the outer enamel is damaged, the decay can seep into the softer interior of the tooth—called the dentin. A tooth with damaged dentin will need a root canal.

Periodontal disease starts with bacteria that attack the gums. If this disease isn’t stopped, the tooth is compromised and, if not treated in time, the tooth has to be removed. Once the tooth is gone, the bone that supports the tooth begins to re-absorb.  The tooth leaves a space that needs to be filled by an implant or a bridge. Without a replacement, the remainder of the healthy teeth will begin to decline as well. Decay and periodontal disease are the major cause of damaged and missing teeth.

According to the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness,  missing teeth, “result in problems with the gums and how the teeth fit together and function (occlusion), and eventually problems with joint pain. In addition, when posterior [back] teeth are lost, pressure is placed on the front teeth, which can cause them to splay out.”

How can you prevent your teeth from being compromised? Twice a day brushing and flossing are the best actions to take. Brushing removes plaque, which is made up of bacteria and food debris, and removing it keeps teeth from decaying.

“The best long-term help for your teeth is to see a dentist at the recommended  regular intervals,” says Dr. Ford. “We can see at angles and in places you can’t see, and can help find and repair any decay before it becomes a serious problem.”


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