A common question associated with tooth loss is “how many teeth do adults have?” By the time you reach the teen years, most adults have a full set of 32 teeth. These teeth include incisors, premolars, molars, and wisdom teeth. Due to evolution, scientists believe that humans have smaller jaw sizes and can’t accommodate 32 teeth. This is why most young adults need to have their four wisdom teeth pulled and will have a total of 28 teeth.

Over a lifetime, you will likely experience some form of tooth loss and lose permanent teeth. According to the National Institute of Health, all adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have 24.92 teeth remaining. Different groups of populations were prone to higher incidences of tooth loss. Older adults, smokers, and those from at-risk socioeconomic groups had fewer teeth with almost four percent having no teeth left at all.


Tooth loss has a strong impact on your lifestyle. When you lose teeth, it can impact your ability to chew food properly. Furthermore, tooth loss has a negative impact on self-esteem. Many individuals with tooth loss report smile shyness and could avoid social interactions because of embarrassment over their appearances.

Tooth loss is attributed to a variety of causes. Most common reasons for losing permanent teeth in adulthood include:

  • Accidents:Any type of trauma could cause a person to lose whole or part of the tooth. For instance, adults who participate in contact sports will be at a higher risk for tooth loss. Besides sports injuries, teeth can become knocked out during motor vehicle accidents, falls, or collisions. Any type of blow to the head will put you at risk for partial or complete tooth loss.
  • Tooth Decay:Tooth decay occurs when bacteria damages the enamel. The acids from the bacteria eat away at the enamel—leading to cavities. If cavities are left untreated, the decay spreads and could eventually lead to tooth loss.
  • Teeth Grinding:Chronic grinding of the teeth, called bruxism, can cause teeth to become damaged. Teeth can become loosed due to the constant grinding or the teeth affects could get worn down to stumps.
  • Gum Disease:Gum disease is the leading cause of all tooth loss in adults. As a result of plaque buildup, the gums surrounding the teeth become inflamed. The inflammation worsens over time and a detachment occurs between the root of the tooth and the gum. These pockets are the perfect spots for bacteria to gather and worsen the progression of the disease. Over time, bone loss occurs in the jaw and teeth can fall out.

Taking care of your teeth makes a significant difference against premature tooth loss. Brushing and flossing daily will help control bacteria and remove plaque. Other preventative measures include avoiding smoking, limiting sugary foods, and wearing protective gear for sports. Most importantly, visit your dentist every six months for checkups.