Tooth Loss Statistics

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. Sep 1, 2019

Implant-supported dental crownYou probably know someone who is missing a tooth. You likely have a friend or relative who is missing all of their teeth. These dental health issues are common, which is why so many people in the Flowood, MS area reach out to Dr. Danny O’Keefe with questions about dentures and dental implants to treat tooth loss.

Numbers can help put problems into perspective. That’s why the team at Family Dental Care would like to consider some statistics on tooth loss. This will help you understand how pervasive the issue is and some common causes of this problem.

How Common Is Tooth Loss?

More common than you may realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in 5 people age 65 and older is missing all of their teeth. What’s more, the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) estimates that around 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.

The Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss

The International Journal of Dentistry published a study in 2012 that examined the most common reasons for tooth extraction in a Brazilian dental care facility. The breakdown of these numbers was as follows:

  • Cavities/Tooth Decay - 38.4 percent
  • Gum Disease - 32.3 percent
  • Eruption Problems - 6.4 percent
  • Orthodontic Issues - 5.7 percent
  • Prosthetics - 3.6 percent
  • Injury/Trauma - 2.6 percent
  • Occlusal Problems - 1.1. percent
  • Other - 9.9 percent

Even though Brazil is worlds apart from Flowood in many respects, these findings are consistent with the most common causes of tooth loss seen at our practice.

Tooth Loss and the Aging Process

Your age can have a major impact on the rate and nature of your tooth loss. While the CDC numbers above speak volumes, there’s more detailed information from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) worth considering.

Notice the amount of remaining teeth in people between the ages of 24 to 65. (An average mouth has 28 teeth when wisdom teeth are removed.)

  • Americans 20 to 34 - 26.90 remaining teeth
  • Americans 35 to 49 - 25.05 remaining teeth
  • Americans 50 to 64 - 22.30 remaining teeth

Links Between Tooth Loss and Smoking

Smoking increases your risk of gum disease, which is a leading cause of tooth loss. The NIDCR tracked tooth loss among smokers and non-smokers and found that not smoking or quitting can make a difference:

  • Lifelong Non-Smokers - 25.67 remaining teeth
  • Former Smokers - 25.12 remaining teeth
  • Current Smokers - 23.47 remaining teeth

Socioeconomics and Tooth Loss

Unsurprisingly, income and education can affect tooth loss. The NIDCR’s numbers noticed that Americans below the poverty line had an average of 23.52 teeth remaining, while people making double the poverty rate had an average of 25.48 teeth remaining. In likely related numbers, people who did not complete high school had 23.1 teeth remaining while people who had more than a high school education had 25.76 teeth remaining.

Numbers on Tooth Loss Treatments

Finally, let’s consider some tooth loss treatments and how common they are:

  • Dental Bridges - Around 15 million Americans are estimated to have a dental bridge or similar appliance in place.
  • Dentures - It’s estimated that 90 percent of people missing all of their teeth have a set of dentures.
  • Dental Implants - According to a 2015 news story from Reuters, roughly 3 million Americans had at least one dental implant, and the number is likely higher today.

Learn More About Treating Tooth Loss

To learn more about tooth loss and your options for improving your dental health, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at Family Dental Care can be reached by phone at (601) 202-4917.

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