For children, the loss of a tooth is often an exciting prospect that involves money under the pillow and the promise of a new tooth. Unfortunately, that magic only exists for children. When an adult loses a tooth, no one’s leaving any money, and there definitely isn’t a new tooth ready to take its place. Instead, adults have to rely on restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild the smile and restore oral health and functions.
While most adults would say they want to avoid tooth loss, many also see it as an issue that is unlikely to affect them. Sadly, statistics show that tooth loss is actually a very common oral health problem, and one that affects millions of American adults. Here, Dr. John Rink goes over some tooth loss statistics that may prompt our Charleston, SC patients to put a little extra care in their oral hygiene routine.
Tooth loss has many potential causes, including oral cancer and accidents resulting in oral injuries. However, the most common causes of tooth loss are dental and oral health complications, such as tooth decay, root canal infection, and gum disease.
Each of these issues can be treated to repair oral damage and preserve the natural tooth. Unfortunately, if a person does not undergo professional dental treatment, even the most minor dental damage can progress to the point of tooth loss.
While many people are reluctant to talk about tooth loss, it is actually a common condition. Based on data collected in a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tooth loss affects more than half of American adults aged 20 to 64. Of those surveyed, only around 48 percent of adults in this age group had a full set of their permanent teeth.
Out of a potential 28 teeth (not counting the four wisdom teeth), the average number of teeth among those aged 20 to 34 was 26.9, which roughly equates to the loss of a single tooth.
The average number of missing teeth increased among older adults. Americans aged 35 to 49 had an average of 25.05 teeth (approximately three missing teeth), and Americans aged 50 to 64 had an average of 22.3 teeth, which essentially means individuals in this age group had lost an average of six teeth.
The loss of any number of teeth compromises oral health and functions, but no impact is as severe as total tooth loss. Medically known as edentulism, complete tooth loss is a problem that is most common among seniors and individuals with economic hardships.
Based on data collected in the National Health survey, edentulism affects just under three percent of adults aged 35 to 49, and just over 10 percent of those aged 50 to 64. For those aged 65 to 74, the percent of adults who have suffered complete tooth loss increases to 13 percent, and then doubles to 26 percent among those 75 and older.
While there are risk factors that make tooth loss more common, anyone is susceptible to dental problems that can cause tooth loss. To learn more about the dental services offered by Dr. John F. Rink, and how they can preserve your smile, contact us at your earliest convenience. You can also schedule an appointment by calling (843) 766-1132.