What Age Do Teeth Start Falling Out As Adults?

Written by Josh Snow

January 06, 2021

It is human nature to lose things. We lose our keys, our wallets, our socks … What is it with the sock vortex? Where do they go?

We lose our other shoe, our grocery lists, our minds, and our hair ... 

Bald man holding his head with concern

For the most part, we can find all of these lost things. But the hair? Well, that stuff falls out, hits the drain, the floor, or floats through the air. Poof. It’s gone. 

When hair falls out, it is typically due to no fault of our own. You simply don’t misplace your hair. The dryer doesn’t eat it. There are numerous, unavoidable reasons that we lose our hair. Pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies, and medications are all hair-stealing culprits.

And we lose our teeth. I’m not talking about the cute days when we lose our two top teeth and say, “She sells seashells by the seashore,” as entertainment for our relatives.

Nope. I’m talking about adult tooth loss. There is nothing cute about losing teeth as an adult. Nobody is walking around talking about how sweet Aunt Susie looks with a gaping hole in her smile. 

Is it inevitable? When do we just start losing our permanent teeth? You may not know this, but adult teeth don’t just die and fall out on their own because you got old. Teeth are not like hair.

Chances are that you have had an injury or trauma to your mouth, or have suffered from some sort of disease that caused your tooth to die. Adult teeth are not supposed to keel over and die for no reason.

Losing teeth as an adult is not an inevitable part of getting old.

That is just not true. If you are getting older, losing your teeth, and find yourself facing eternity with Super PoligripⓇ, it is probably your fault.

I’m not pointing fingers. I’m just stating the facts, ma’am.

Baby teeth fall out on their own because nature generally demands it. It is a healthy, natural response to a growing body. Adult teeth falling out of your head is not a result of consistently responsible oral hygiene

Toothbrush holder with 2 tooth brushes

Yes, Karen. You need to brush and floss regularly and make regular trips to the dentist for checkups.

Why do adults lose their teeth?
  1. Serious Illness: There are several severe illnesses that can lead to tooth loss.

  2. Diabetes: When it goes unchecked, high blood sugar makes it more difficult to fight infections throughout the body. That includes the mouth. Periodontitis in a diabetic is bad news.

  3. Cancer: Going through cancer treatment causes several mouth issues, mouth sores, dry mouth, jaw pain, infections, and sensitive gums. Dry mouth in particular has a negative effect on teeth and gums, causing cavities and infections.

  4. Osteomyelitis: This affects the bones, can be accompanied by an infection, and lead to tooth loss.

  5. Autoimmune Disease: Infections can run rampant in autoimmune diseases, including periodontitis. Severe periodontitis means horribly inflamed and infected gums, resulting in tooth loss.

  6. Periodontitis: Gum disease is also known as periodontitis. It is known as the silent killer because most people are unaware they even have it … and then, bam. Your gum disease escalates to the point of bone damage and eventually tooth loss. 

  7. Trauma: An injury to the tooth is also known as trauma. 

    1. Knock or blow to the head that causes your teeth to be knocked out or damaged beyond repair, eventually damaged beyond repair.

    2. Pretending your teeth are a beer bottle opener. We know … We know … Your teeth have exceptionally strong enamel. No, buddy. Your teeth are not safe from damage just because they don’t break in two when you open a bottle with them.

    3. Jaw clenchers and teeth grinders beware. You are putting over 800 POUNDS of pressure on your teeth! It makes complete sense why clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth would lead to tooth loss and fractures. It is essentially like having a small adult bison sitting on your jaw. 

How do we prevent our teeth from falling out?

First of all, we will remind you again that getting older is not a reason to lose your teeth. The average person has every reason to keep her teeth healthy right up to old age. That being said, you must take care of your teeth if you want to keep your natural teeth.

As you can see, age does not tell us when we will lose our teeth. The way we choose to take care of our teeth, or neglect to care for our teeth, determines how long those pearly whites will stay healthy.

Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It is a preventable illness if you simply take care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing. 

Basically, we give our teeth a fighting chance by following a consistent oral hygiene routine. Brush twice daily for two minutes, floss every day, use a mouthwash approved by the American Dental Association, and see your dentist every six months for a checkup.

What are the risk factors for adult tooth loss?

For starters, you middle-aged men and older who haven’t taken care of your health or teeth and have a smoking habit? You are not in great shape to keep your teeth!


Overweight man walking down city street

The following is a list of risk factors according to the Journal of Periodontology:

Wait. That is only eight risk factors. You are correct. Last but not least, the ninth discovery is that the front teeth are at a much higher risk to be lost to gum disease than the back teeth.

There are certain risk factors that you cannot control, like your gender and age. However, there are several others that are entirely up to you to control by making healthier choices.

Leading Reason for Tooth Loss

You should know by now that gum (periodontal) disease is the number one reason we lose our teeth in adulthood. This is not just an American cultural reality. Tooth loss across the globe is largely due to gum disease.

As we have just learned middle-aged men are probably the ones to need a tooth removed, not women. 

Approximately 30% of tooth loss sufferers are smokers or previously smokers. 

What happens if you have bad oral hygiene habits? 

First off, if you have poor oral hygiene, it is time for you to make a change for the better. 

Do you know how many of you have never, ever gone to the dentist and had a professional cleaning? Four out of ten people have not made or kept their dental appointments to have their teeth properly cleaned. 

A smaller percentage of people admitted to failing to go to a dental checkup within the last six months before learning they must have a tooth pulled. See how much smarter it is to actually get yourself to the dentist every six months? 

Don’t be daft, be smart! 

Well, guess what? Some of you are not even brushing your teeth regularly. That is just basic dental care. Six out of ten people rarely ever brush their teeth.  

Many people facing tooth loss are reported to have diabetes. Just over ten percent of dental  patients losing a tooth have high blood pressure. A link has even been shown between high blood pressure and gum disease in postmenopausal females.

People, please take good care of your teeth. You cannot grow a new set!

So, when do your teeth start falling out?

They should not fall out, period. If you have kept up with brushing, flossing, rinsing, and dental checkups, you should be doing just fine. 

There is no reason why a healthy adult needs to worry about losing teeth at any age.