Seventeen percent of adults aged 65 or older were edentulous, reflecting a decrease of about 10 percentage points during 1999–2004 (Table 35). Except for non-Hispanic black adults and current smokers, estimates of edentulism decreased from 1999–2004 to 2011–2016 across all sociodemographic characteristics.
Overall, 19% of adults aged 65 and over were edentulous in 2011–2012. Edentulism was twice as prevalent among adults aged 75 and over compared with those aged 65–74.
Over 35 million people in America are edentulous, meaning that they have no teeth. About 90 percent of these people wear dentures, and another 15 percent opt to have dentures made every year.
Nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Complete tooth loss is twice as prevalent among adults aged 75 and older (26%) compared with adults aged 65-74 (13%).
The authors identified older age, lower education, NCDs, tobacco use, and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption as risk factors for edentulism.
Compared to 1999–2004, the percentage of adults who were edentulous (i.e., had lost all of their natural teeth) decreased in 2011–2016 ( 4% vs. 2%) (Table 33).
About 23 million are completely edentulous and about 12 million are edentulous in one arch. 90 percent of those who suffer from edentulism have dentures. The number of partially edentulous patients will continue to increase in the next 15 years to more than 200 million individuals.
Tooth enamel tends to wear away with aging, making the teeth vulnerable to damage and decay. Tooth loss is the major reason that older people cannot chew as well and thus may not consume enough nutrients.
Dentures are considered one of the most popular tooth replacement options available today. The others being dental bridges and dental implants. Although fairly effective, dentures are not without their faults. For example, lots of people choose dental bridges and dental implants over dentures whenever they can.
Consider the denture-wearing statistics— 3% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 wear complete or partial dentures, 16% of 35-44-year-olds wear them, 29% of 45-to-55-year-olds wear dentures, 51% of those aged 55 to 64 wear them, and 57% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have dentures.
The CDC estimates that 13 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 to 74 have no teeth, and that 26 percent of Americans 75 and older have no teeth.
Note: Approximately 5% of seniors age 65 and older have no teeth. This survey applies only to those seniors who have teeth. Dental caries, both treated and untreated, in seniors age 65 and older declined from the early 1970s until the most recent (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Periodontal or gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. A 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around half of the adult population in the US has periodontal disease, with cases ranging from mild to severe.
Edentulism: Without teeth. Complete loss of all natural teeth can substantially reduce quality of life, self-image, and daily functioning.
Partial edentulism, one or more teeth missing is an indication of healthy behaviour of dental practices in the society and attitude towards dental and oral care. The pattern of partial edentulism has been evaluated in many selected populations in different countries by different methods.
Retention is the phase of orthodontic treatment that attempts to keep teeth in the corrected positions after correction with orthodontic (dental) braces. Without retention there is a tendency for the teeth to return to their initial position. This unfavourable change from the corrected position is known as relapse.