Tooth loss

Tooth loss
A young boy after losing two baby teeth, exfoliated in response to the permanent teeth beneath, which will erupt through the gums to take their place.

Tooth loss is when one or more teeth come loose and fall out. Tooth loss is normal for deciduous teeth (baby teeth), when they are replaced by a person's adult teeth. Otherwise, losing teeth is undesirable and is the result of injury or disease, such as mouth trauma, tooth injury, tooth decay, and gum disease. The condition of being toothless or missing one or more teeth, is called edentulism.


Prevention of tooth loss

Tooth loss due to tooth decay and gum disease may be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, and regular check-ups (twice per year) at the dentist's office.

In contact sports, risk of mouth trauma and tooth injury is reduced by wearing mouthguards and helmets with a facemask (e.g., football helmet, and goalie mask).

Missing tooth replacement

There are three basic ways to replace a missing tooth or teeth, including a fixed dental bridge, dentures, and dental implants.

Research in tooth regeneration

Researchers in Japan have successfully regrown fully functional teeth in mice. Epithelial and mesenchymal cells were extracted from the mice, cultured to produce a tooth "germ," and the germ was then implanted into the bone at the space of a missing tooth. A tooth of the correct external and internal structure, hardness, strength and sensitivity later erupted in the space, eventually meeting the opposing tooth in a manner similar to an original natural tooth. This technique may be a possible future treatment for replacement of missing teeth.[1]

See also


  1. ^ [1]Etsuko Ikeda, Ritsuko Morita, Kazuhisa Nakao, Kentaro Ishida, Takashi Nakamura, Teruko Takano-Yamamoto, Miho Ogawa, Mitsumasa Mizuno, Shohei Kasugai, and Takashi Tsuji (2009). "Fully functional bioengineered tooth replacement as an organ replacement therapy". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106 (32): 13475–80. doi:10.1073/pnas.0902944106. PMC 2720406. PMID 19666587. 

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