The Most Common Causes of Adult Tooth Loss

May 17, 2011
Adult tooth loss can be extremely embarrassing. Read about the most common causes tooth loss so you can keep your pearly whites healthy into your senior years.

Gum Disease

Gingivitis, Periodontitis, and Alveolar Bone Loss

Gum disease is a serious condition that affects millions of men, women, and children throughout the world. The gum disease gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease that can be easily treated by adopting a proper brushing and flossing routine. However, if gingivitis remains untreated, it can progress into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is caused by a severe build-up of bacteria on the teeth and along the gum line that eventually results in bone loss. As the alveolar bone, which supports the teeth, deteriorates, teeth can become loose and fall out. Periodontitis is one of the main causes of tooth loss, especially among adults aged 65 and older.

According to an article published in the Journal of Periodontology, you are at increased risk of losing your teeth to periodontitis if you are:

Aged 35 and older
Avoiding professional dental care
Not using a toothbrush
A smoker
Suffering from diabetes
Suffering from high blood pressure
Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis

Dental Caries Disease

Cavities and Tooth Decay

While periodontitis is more likely to lead to the loss of multiple teeth, dental caries can lead to the loss of an individual tooth. Dental caries are caused by the presence of plaque on the tooth’s surface and are most commonly known as cavities or tooth decay. When a cavity initially develops, it damages the outer surface of the tooth. As it continues to break down the tooth’s surface, it gains access to the inside of the tooth, where it can cause significantly more damage and tooth pain.

The length of time a cavity is left untreated is proportional to the degree of damage sustained by the tooth. If a cavity is detected in its earliest stages, a simple filling may be all that is required for treatment. If the structure of the tooth is severely damaged, a crown or inlay or onlay may be needed to provide additional support to the affected tooth, while root canal therapy may be required to remove damaged areas of the tooth and seal any openings.

In the most severe cases, the tooth cannot be saved and must be removed. When people lose a tooth to a cavity or some other trauma, dentists strongly recommend that a replacement tooth be used to fill the gap so that surrounding teeth are unable move out of alignment. A dental implant, bridge, or partial dentures can be used to replace missing teeth.


Auto Accidents, Falls, and Trauma from Sports

Accidents or events that cause sudden impact to the facial area can lead to the loss of a tooth or several teeth. For example, a person can fall on an unforgiving surface such as concrete and snap off the bottom portion of a tooth, permanently damaging the nerves and structure of the tooth. An individual involved in a fist fight could receive a forcible blow to the mouth area that knocks a tooth out of its socket.
Tooth loss from injury can be caused by:

Motor vehicle accidents
Biking accidents
Contact sports

Prevention of Adult Tooth Loss

Protecting your teeth from dental caries and gum disease is pretty simple and straightforward. You just need to maintain proper oral hygiene by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and scheduling dental exams every six months.

Protecting your mouth from injury, however, is not quite as easy because most dental injuries result from accidents. Common sense safeguards are the surest way to protect your teeth in the event of an accident; for example, wearing protective mouth guards while participating in sports, being a safe and attentive driver, and avoiding physical altercations can help you to avoid losing your teeth to injuries.
Jan 14, 2013
Brushing is important and correct brushing technique is essential. Many do not brush long enough and to make it worse, they don't brush with the proper technique and as a result they are leaving harmful bacterial behind.

Along with proper technique, I suggest using a good quality mouth wash.

Apr 2, 2014
Fortunately there are much better options for replacing missing teeth than there was in the past. One of the latest and most ideal are dental implants. Once restored, they function like natural teeth.
Last edited by a moderator:

Jul 7, 2014
Usually, the teeth nature of each individual will vary from other, consulting a proper orthodontist is the best way for finding the right solution for adult tooth loss.

Aug 18, 2014
In order to prevent Adult tooth loss, you need to take good care of teeth. I too agree that brushing teeth twice a day is the most effective way to avoid tooth loss. In addition, visiting a dentist for a check up after every two or three months is advisable and get your teeth cleaned up will save you from dental problems.


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