Causes of Tooth Loss in Adults

Adult tooth loss can be as much about a person’s lifestyle as it is about their health. Let’s look at the reasons why teeth fall out in adults.

Tooth loss is an unfortunate unpleasantness that is accompanied by considerable discomfort and considerable expense. The lost tooth should be replaced with a denture as soon as possible. In addition to the basic unpleasantness, such loss can be a harbinger of more serious problems and a symptom of a dangerous disease. Why teeth fall out in adults and whether it is possible to prevent it, we will find out today.


The most common cause of tooth loss is tooth decay. With this disease, the tooth crown is destroyed and the root system weakens, resulting in the tooth simply falling out. This happens if tooth decay is not treated and oral hygiene is not followed.

Tooth Loss

In this case, the tooth root usually remains in the bone tissue under the gum and if it is not removed in time, inflammation can develop.

To prevent tooth loss, you need to visit the dentist at the first signs of decay, which can be:

  • The presence of a cavity – these are dark spots on the tooth enamel. At the initial stage of the disease, they may not be there, or the patient may not see them himself.
  • Pain from hot/cold, or sour, sweet or salty foods and liquids on the tooth;
  • pain when pressing on the tooth and chewing;
  • bad breath;
  • In later stages, severe crown decay.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a disease that affects the gums and bone tissue around the tooth. Periodontal disease causes atrophy of the gum tissue, the formation of so-called gum pockets, and bacterial plaque is deposited in them, provoking further inflammation. The gums around the tooth shrink, exposing the underlying part of the tooth, and in some cases even the root. The tooth itself gradually loosens and leaves the extraction site.

Periodontal disease is often accompanied by inflammation, bad breath, sore gums and tooth sensitivity.

But periodontal disease leads to tooth loss only in its advanced stages if left untreated for a long period of time. If you see a doctor at the first sign of the disease, you can avoid unpleasant consequences. And if you follow hygienic rules and do not abuse sweets, the development of periodontal disease itself can be prevented.


Periodontitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues of the mouth. If left untreated, it causes the ligamentous apparatus of the tooth to weaken. The gum becomes inflamed, the tooth becomes damaged, the fixation of the tooth in the cavity becomes loose under regular chewing pressure, and the tooth eventually falls out. It is not uncommon for periodontitis to expose the tooth root.

Periodontitis is caused not only by poor oral health and bacteria, but also by allergic reactions, gum trauma, hormonal imbalance, a weakened immune system and a number of other causes.

In this case, if periodontitis is generalized, that is, spread throughout the jaw, it may not be limited to one lost tooth, and it will be followed by other dental units. If periodontitis is not treated at all, it can lead to full adentia.

The first signs of the disease worth going to the clinic for are bleeding gums, discomfort and itching. Pain on chewing, bad breath and pus-like discharge may follow.

In severe periodontitis, the teeth move and loosen, exposing the lower part of the tooth and the root. Do not take the disease to this stage, because it can only be cured by surgery.

Age-related Changes

If the underlying causes of adentia can be identified and neutralized in time, age-related tooth loss is an unavoidable phenomenon. In old age the immune system weakens, the gums atrophy and shrink, the neck of the tooth becomes exposed, the teeth move and fall out.

Most often it happens in 65-70 years, but if the patient didn’t take care of his teeth and didn’t follow the preventive recommendations, the negative effects can occur earlier.

It is impossible to prevent it, but it is possible to delay it by taking vitamins, medications that increase immunity, carefully monitor your physical condition and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Other Possible Causes

In addition to oral disease, other factors can also cause adentia:

  • Diabetes mellitus, which disrupts blood sugar levels, leading to an excess of glucose. This, in turn, provokes a disruption of blood flow to the gum tissue, they are weakened and the tooth falls out;
  • Heart disease, in most cases requiring regular medication that impairs the function of the mucosal tissues, which also leads to the loss of dental units;
  • Hypertension and other chronic diseases;
  • mechanical injuries;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • weakening of the immune system;
  • improper diet, excessive consumption of sugar;
  • Bad habits (smoking, excessive use of alcohol, drug addiction);
  • hereditary predisposition to adentia;
  • Lack of hygiene and inadequate oral care, which provokes the growth of bacteria that weaken the gums and cause inflammation.

How to Prevent Tooth Loss

Preventing tooth loss is not that difficult, you only need to follow a few recommendations:

  • Stopping smoking and alcohol.
  • Normalize the diet, avoiding unhealthy foods, dyes, synthetic additives.
  • Minimal or no sugar consumption.
  • Giving up sugary drinks – this is the main enemy of healthy teeth.
  • Observance of hygiene – regular brushing and rinsing after meals with special solutions.
  • Regular professional oral cleaning – removal of tartar and other deposits.
  • If the immune system is weakened, take immunomodulators.
  • Regular check-ups with your dentist.

If you have chronic diseases and other risk factors, you should pay increased attention to dental health and see a specialist regularly. This will allow you to detect potential problems in time and fix them. And it is much easier and cheaper than dentures.

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Dr. R.Mammadli (Dental Expert Team)

Bachelor in biotechnical medicine. Author of several medical blogs, author of articles on dentistry and oral health.