Can Failing Teeth Be Saved?

Failing teeth can often be saved, it just depends on how much damage has been done. If a tooth is salvageable, it will be through a variety of different dental procedures. The most common methods used to save a failing tooth include dental implants, root canals, fillings, and crowns.

However, before we jump into those treatments and what they entail, let’s talk about some of the most common reasons why teeth fail. Because, in all honesty, our goal is to help you avoid teeth failing.

So, the best way to do that is to educate you on why they fail and how you can prevent that. Granted, in some situations such as genetic issues there is nothing you can do. And that is when restorative procedures become your most viable option.

But for now, let’s jump right into the leading causes of why teeth fail.

What Causes Failing Teeth?

Teeth can fail for many different reasons, and understanding these reasons can help you prevent them from happening. So, the most common reasons why teeth fail include gum disease, tooth decay, trauma or injury, and tooth wear.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is also referred to as cavities or dental caries and that’s one of the main causes of tooth failure. Decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth are fed by sugars and produce acids that erode the enamel that protects your tooth. It does this over some time, not overnight, so it is very preventable with proper oral hygiene and diet.

If left untreated tooth decay can get worse and end up causing pain, infection, and eventually tooth loss. Brushing and flossing regularly twice a day along with maintaining your biannual dental checkups can lower your risk of decay. However, some tooth decay is the result of genetic conditions such as soft teeth, which is not the result of bad habits.

The key to saving your teeth from tooth decay is catching it in the early stages. This is why it’s so important to keep current with dental checkups.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, which you’ll also hear referred to as periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. It affects both the gum tissues and the supporting structure of the teeth. Gum disease starts out as gingivitis with symptoms that include inflamed gums that might bleed when you brush or floss.

However, gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress to periodontitis. This leads to gums receding and the bone that supports the teeth to deteriorate.

Gum disease is typically caused by tobacco use, some medications, bad oral hygiene, drug use, and also genetic predisposition.

Just like with tooth decay, major damage can be avoided with regular dental cleanings. Additionally, proper oral hygiene is the most critical way to prevent this. When you first see the signs of gum disease you must take immediate steps to correct it. If you don’t, it will eventually lead to tooth loss.

Trauma or Injury

Physical trauma or injury to the teeth can result in their failure. Accidents, falls, or sports injuries can cause teeth to crack, fracture, or become dislodged. The severity of the damage depends on the force and type of impact.

In cases of minor cracks or chips, dental bonding or crowns may be sufficient to restore the tooth. However, more severe injuries may require root canal treatment or tooth extraction. Wearing mouthguards during sports activities and being cautious in potentially hazardous situations can help prevent traumatic tooth injuries.

Tooth Wear

Tooth wear is the gradual loss or wearing down of the tooth material and structure over time. This can eventually lead to tooth failure. There’s three categories of tooth wear:

  • Attrition (tooth-to-tooth contact)
  • Abrasion (external factors such as abusing teeth)
  • Erosion (the result of tooth exposure to acids)

Some factors that can contribute to tooth wear include teeth grinding, eating acidic food and drinks, aggressive brushing, and some medical conditions. The more wear teeth go through the weaker they become. When teeth are weak, they become more susceptible to fractures and decay, as well as infection.

To help prevent wear, some dentists may recommend protective devices such as mouthguards. They may also recommend dietary restrictions or modifications. Naturally, all dentists will unanimously recommend good oral hygiene practices as the first step.

Treatment Options

As we’ve discussed, tooth failure could occur for many different reasons. It could be the result of advanced and untreated tooth decay, gum disease, tooth wear, or trauma. The best way to not have to worry about getting treatment for failing teeth is prevention.

Maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing twice a day is a great start. Additionally, keeping up with regular dental checkups is the other critical part of the equation.

That being said, should you find yourself suffering from failing teeth, no matter the reason, there are treatment options. Depending on the severity of the damage already done, your tooth may be saved and most of the treatments achieve that.

However, there is also a treatment option if the tooth is beyond saving—we’ll cover that in a moment. First, let’s talk about treatments when a tooth is salvageable.

Root Canals

A root canal is performed to save a tooth that has become infected or damaged down to the dental pulp. This involves removing the dead or infected pulp, then cleaning and disinfecting. Once that is done, a toothlike dental crown is bonded to the tooth to prevent further damage.

This is often the best course of action when there is deep, untreated decay or infection. It eliminates the pain, stops the spread of infection, and preserves the remaining tooth structure.

With proper care, a root canal can last for several years without any issues.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns, which are also called caps, are a common restoration method. Crowns are custom-made and cover the visible part of a damaged tooth. It not only improves the appearance but protects against further damage as well.

Crowns are a suitable solution for teeth that have serious decay or fractures that compromise the tooth. They bring stability and aesthetics and allow full use of teeth without hindrance.


Fillings are a basic dental treatment for cavities that have not progressed to major infections etc. The decayed part of the tooth is removed and a tooth-colored composite is placed to fill the void. Fillings also help a tooth avoid further damage.

Are You Suffering From Failing Teeth?

If you’re suffering from failing teeth Is best to take prompt action to avoid further damage. The more damage that is done to your tooth more likely it is not able to be saved. Contact us today to book an appointment so we can take the appropriate action to try and save your tooth.

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