When we think of losing teeth, we most commonly think of children. Next on the list is often older populations, around the age of 65 or older. However, even people as young as 20 can lose teeth due to various reasons.
Things such as smoking, not taking care of your teeth, trauma, and diseases can all play a part in your oral health. It isn’t just two age demographics that typically lose teeth. Anyone is susceptible without proper care.
Keep reading to learn more about the average amount of teeth per age as well as why tooth loss occurs and what you can do to prevent any loss of teeth.
Is Tooth Loss Common?
Even in America, tooth loss is incredibly common. It is thought that around 178 million Americans are missing one tooth at a minimum, and about 40 million are missing all of them.
This is more than just the older generations’ teeth tend to fall out as they age. Studies have shown that age doesn’t impact the loss of teeth. Once we lose all of our baby teeth, these are meant to stay with us until we pass.
Unfortunately, that isn’t often the case. Studies reveal that even as early as the age of twenty, people are losing teeth, due to various reasons.
This may be surprising, as it isn’t often talked about, but it is something common that happens, even in the United States.
Average Teeth Per Age Group
Depending on whether or not people have their wisdom teeth, you are looking at 28 to 32 teeth for a full set. Removing wisdom teeth is so common anymore, that getting these removed doesn’t count as losing teeth. Most people just take 28 teeth to be the average anymore.
For Americans aged between 20 and 34, the average is just under 27 teeth (26.90) remaining. By the time you hit 49 years, you are feasibly down to 25.05 teeth on average. Once you get to 64, you are pretty average if you have around 22 (22.30) teeth still in your mouth.
Between the ages of 50 to 64, you have about a 10% chance of having no teeth remaining at all, and this number jumps up to 13% when you get to age 74. Once past the age of 74, the number jumps even higher to 26%.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Get Removed So Often?
Wisdom teeth are commonly removed anymore, sometimes even before they start to pop up and become a problem. Sometimes, people don’t even get their four wisdom teeth to appear, and instead, see only two growing in. Some people don’t even have wisdom teeth at all.
Since these teeth aren’t needed anymore naturally, our mouths are often unable to support them. This means that even growing in, sometimes these teeth have issues. They can come in at an angle, press against your other teeth, or get infected.
Oftentimes, even if the positioning looks normal during an x-ray, dentists will often recommend removing them anyway, as they can quickly shift around while still inside the gums and become a problem when there previously wasn’t any way.
Since genetics has made the removal of wisdom so common anymore, when people talk about losing teeth, these aren’t even considered. As long as someone has anywhere between 28 and 32 teeth, they are considered to have a full set, whether their wisdom teeth just never grew in or they were removed doesn’t change anything.
Factors That Determine Teeth Loss
With these averages in front of you, it doesn’t quite make sense that age itself doesn’t affect teeth loss.
The only reason older generations tend to lose their teeth more is that they tend to have more health problems. This includes struggling with being able to brush their teeth and facing larger health issues that affect dental health such as osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that can lead to poor oral health and a loss of teeth. As we mentioned, the disease is a possibility, but not just diseases that directly affect the mouth.
Many doctors and dentists are starting to realize how our teeth are sort of gateways to our health. If your nutrition is poor, or you find yourself with a lot of sicknesses, you may notice that your teeth start loosening or falling out. Taking the correct vitamins and minerals and staying healthy can help you to keep a healthy mouth without any further loss of teeth.
Staying healthy includes more than just physical health. Reducing stress, not overworking, and just taking care of yourself mentally is also important to reduce your loss of teeth.
Things like smoking and drinking, as well as ingesting a lot of sugar and acids can also reduce your oral health. These cause a lot of damage to your teeth and gums that may lead to diseases or decay.
One of the most obvious ways you can lose teeth is via trauma. If you play sports, you may risk a hit to the face, which can knock loose a tooth or several. Or perhaps, you have tripped, or gotten into a fight. If this is the case, you may find yourself losing teeth.
Once you lose a tooth, you are also more susceptible to further tooth loss. This is for two main reasons. The first is that your teeth will start to move to replace the tooth that was missing. This means, that instead of tiny spaces that floss can barely fit through, there are now larger gaps between your teeth where food and bacteria can hide.
If not taken care of properly, you can start to get decay and cavities in this area.
The other reason why losing a tooth can increase your chances is that jawbone density depends on your teeth. Movements, as you chew, can strengthen your jaw, but the weight of your teeth is also important. While one tooth may not seem like that much weight, it can make a pretty big difference in your jawbone’s density over time.
Finally, and most obviously, not taking care of your teeth and doing necessary dental treatments can lead to problems. It is important for optimal tooth health that you brush for two minutes twice a day in gentle, circular movements. You will also need to floss at least once a day, and incorporating mouthwash never hurts.
Also, make sure you take time to brush your tongue and gently massage your gums as well when you brush, to remove any bacteria that make a home on your tongue.
You may be surprised to find that tooth loss can start as early as your 20s, if not even sooner. Your demographics have been shown to play an important part in tooth loss, even more so than age. This is because factors such as overworking, stress, access to enough proper tooth products, and physical ability play huge roles in determining how many teeth you have.
Age does play a minor part, but only because physical ability and health tend to go down as you get older. By the time you are 74, having less than 22 teeth is common, and you have about a 26% chance of losing all of your teeth.