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If you’re missing one or more consecutive teeth, a dental bridge can replace them and complete your smile. Dental bridges can be anchored in place by dental crowns that are attached to the teeth on either side of the space or they can be affixed to dental implants. They can generally last five to 15 years on average, but a few things can cause your dental bridge to fall out. Read on to learn about three common causes of dental bridge failure and the steps you should take if yours falls out.

Dentist treating a patient

Cause #1: Tooth Decay

Dental bridges can’t get cavities, but the teeth they’re attached to can. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, this will allow plaque to build up and cavities to form. When the decay in one of the teeth being used to support a bridge gets bad enough, there may no longer be enough tooth structure left to support a crown, which will lead to dental bridge failure.

Cause #2: Gum Disease

Cavities can lead to gum irritation, which can result in gum disease. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is preventable with proper oral hygiene and easy to treat. If it progresses to a more serious infection called periodontitis, this can lead to gum recession, bone deterioration, and tooth loss. Loosing the teeth your bridge is attached to will cause your restoration to fall out, too.

Cause #3: Irregular Bite Pattern

If a component of your bridge is too high or low on the chewing surface, this can lead to an irregular bite pattern. The uneven distribution of pressure this creates will cause your dental bridge to loosen over time, and it may even fall out completely.

What to Do if Your Dental Bridge Fell Out

Now that you know what can cause your dental bridge to fall out, what do you do if this happens? If your dental bridge fell out, follow these four steps:

  • Step #1: Keep your cool – Calm yourself down by taking a deep breath.
  • Step #2: Call your dentist – Contact your emergency dentist and explain what happened. They will give you information on what you need to do next and help you set up an appointment to have the bridge reattached. If it fell outside of office hours, their voicemail may provide info on what to do next.
  • Step #3: Keep it safe – Put your dental bridge in a storage case or plastic sandwich bag to make sure it’s safe until your dentist can fix it for you. If you can’t find it, your dentist will have a new one made.
  • Step #4: Be careful – Don’t chew on the side of the mouth where the tooth fell out and avoid overly hot, cold, acidic, spicy, sweet, or sharp foods and drinks until it’s reattached.

Now that you know what can cause your dental bridge to fail, make sure you take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. Your smile will thank you for it!

About the Practice

Dr. Mark Gray, Dr. Marlayne Newman, and their talented Houston team are here to help you fill in the gaps in your smile. They offer dental bridges that literally “bridge” the space between teeth and can help you feel more confident in your smile. If your dental bridge fell out, they can reattach it and get your pearly whites back on track. To make an appointment or for more information on dental bridges, visit their website or call 281-493-9395.