The loss of one or more permanent teeth can be a devastating blow to your oral health, and though it happens quite often, losing adult teeth is not natural. Most people may not need prompting to replace a lost tooth, especially if it’s noticeable, but not everyone realizes the importance of maintaining a mouth full of functioning teeth.
Find out how much you know about tooth loss and its consequences by taking our short tooth loss quiz below, and by speaking with your dentist during your next visit.
A Quiz About Tooth Loss
1.) How many teeth can a healthy human mouth hold?
2.) When a tooth is lost, how do its remaining neighbors often react?
a.) They become diseased
b.) They shift towards the gap to take up the slack
c.) They cry
3.) Most tooth replacements restore your teeth’s crowns so you can bite and chew again. What do dental implants replace?
a.) Tooth roots
c.) Gum tissue
d.) Jawbone structure
4.) What destructive, progressive issue do dental implants help prevent?
a.) Gum disease
b.) Tooth decay
c.) Jawbone deterioration
1.) 32 — A healthy human mouth typically grows 32 teeth, though the last four, called wisdom teeth, are often removed due to complications. Since this last set of molars is largely unnecessary anyway, their extraction doesn’t hinder your mouth’s proper function, and 28 is often regarded as a healthy number (assuming the missing four are all wisdom teeth).
2.) Shift towards the gap — Your teeth are designed to evenly spread out the pressure of your bite, minimizing the impact from biting and chewing. One or more lost teeth can disturb your bite’s balance, and remaining teeth can shift towards the empty space(s) to take up the slack.
3.) Tooth roots — Dental implants are small posts that are surgically inserted into your jawbone, where your lost tooth’s roots once were. Made from biocompatible titanium, implants are designed for your jawbone to fuse to their surfaces, creating a stable anchor for your replacement teeth that mimics the natural root-and-crown design of your natural teeth.
4.) Jawbone deterioration — When you bite and chew, your tooth’s roots are stimulated by the impact and facilitate a healthy supply of nutrients to your supporting jawbone. Losing these roots results in fewer nutrients to your jawbone, which can cause it to deteriorate and lose its grip on your remaining teeth. Replacing tooth roots with dental implants helps restore that stimulation, which in turn helps maintain a healthy nutrient supply and preserve your jawbone.