There is more than one reason for a tooth or teeth to be lost. Tooth decay accounts for a great many cases of missing teeth but there are other factors which define tooth loss.
These include a physical injury which results in a tooth being knocked out of the jaw, periodontal gum disease and even old age. One of the defining characteristics of old age is losing your teeth which is due to shrinking gums, caused by a loss of elasticity in that area.
This section discussed the following causes of missing teeth which are:
Find out more about these causes in these individual sections.
Whatever the cause, most people will at some point in their lives, lose a tooth or several teeth. Not a particularly reassuring thought but nevertheless, it is common.
It is possible to be born with less than your normal complement of teeth. There are certain genes involved in tooth development but if something goes wrong then it results in missing teeth.
Our teeth start developing whilst we are still in the womb. They develop as tooth buds and lie dormant until the age of 6 months or so when they push through the gums and appear as milk teeth.
This process is known as teething.
Any problems with this development can result in abnormal shaped teeth: badly aligned teeth; faulty structure or missing teeth.
The important issue is what to do about it. If you are missing a few teeth for one reason or the other then your main concern is replacing them. Doing so means no loss of self-confidence or esteem caused by a toothless appearance.
Researchers have discovered a link between the number of teeth someone is missing and atherosclerosis.
Researchers at Downstate Medical Center in New York counted the number of missing teeth in 115 patients referred for transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to determine whether they had periodontal disease and measured maximal aortic plaque thickness by TEE.
Results show that age is the strongest predictor of aortic atherosclerosis. Other independent predictors include dental loss and calcium-channel blocker use.