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Premature tooth loss can affect oral health for years to come
Date:5/22/2008

CHICAGO (May 22, 2008) - The prospect of exchanging a tooth for that coveted reward from the tooth fairy often has kids wiggling teeth with vigor, but what happens when a primary or permanent tooth is lost prematurely due to trauma? According to a study published in the March/April 2008 issue of General Dentistry, the AGDs clinical, peer-reviewed journal, parents and caretakers more often than not do not know what to do with a traumatically affected tooth and do not take proper steps to respond to the injury, which can affect their childs oral health permanently.

Two kinds of traumatic tooth loss can occur during childhood: The child can lose a primary (baby) tooth prematurely, or they can lose a permanent tooth. With primary or baby teeth [the mistake parents or caretakers make] is that they often dont believe that the loss of a primary tooth is especially important since a permanent tooth is supposed to come in and replace it anyway, says AGD spokesperson, Tom A. Howley, Jr., DDS, MAGD. It is important to keep baby teeth because they maintain the spacing for permanent teeth. Keeping baby teeth in place will also increase the likelihood that permanent teeth come in straight.

According to the studys lead author, Lucianne Cople Maia, DDS, MSD, PhD, another mistake parents and caretakers make is that they believe it can always be replanted. In some cases, the tooth can be splinted back in; however, treatment still should be sought for a prematurely lost primary tooth. The area where a tooth has been lost should be checked for bone fractures or other damage, among other concerns, explains Dr. Howley.

When it comes to the loss of a permanent tooth, parents and caretakers often delay in seeking treatment and/or fail to store the tooth properly en route to the hospital. AGD spokesperson Mark Donald, DMD, FAGD, explains that the chance for success is directly related to the amount of trauma and the length of time the tooth is outside of t
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Contact: Stefanie Schroeder
media@agd.org
312-440-4346
Academy of General Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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