Advertisement

Do missing teeth (edentulism) affect children differently than adults?

Generally, missing teeth can cause problems. Specifically, baby teeth hold the space for the adult teeth to come in correctly. When a baby tooth is missing, the remaining teeth will move into that space making it difficult for the adult tooth to come in properly. For this reason it is so important to take good care of the primary (baby) teeth with a proper diet, brushing, and a regular visit to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings.
Edentulism, which means tooth loss, can affect people at any age. It's caused by decay, which is why it's so important to instill good brushing and flossing habits in your children while they're still young.
Edentulism is mostly found in adults, particularly the elderly. This is thought to occur because of their greater risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease. Rarely, tooth decay can affect younger children because of improper oral hygiene. This is commonly seen in children who drink sugary bottles while in the crib, where the sugar can soak into their teeth while they sleep. Edentulism in children however is soon cured when their adult teeth grow in.

Continue Learning about Children's Oral Health

Ask the Expert: Dental Tips for Kids
Ask the Expert: Dental Tips for Kids
The first smile ... the first tooth ... the first time the baby happily noshes away on his morning oatmeal. All of these are lovely milestones that pa...
Read More
Avoid These Toxins to Protect Your Child's Teeth
Avoid These Toxins to Protect Your Child's Teeth
The WBA heavyweight title fight in June, 1997 will always be referred to as “The Bite Fight,” because Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s e...
Read More
Why should my child get enough fluoride?
Megan  Chin, DDSMegan Chin, DDS
Fluoride is an important substance that prevents cavities and has even been shown to arrest the grow...
More Answers
Do oral health problems affect children differently than adults?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Oral health problems can affect children differently. As children’s mouths, gums and teeth are still...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.