Our Dental Blog

Exclusive content and the latest news from LifeSmiles and Dr. Randy Mitchmore.

The Road to Missing Teeth

Did you know that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Missing teeth are a common problem, especially for people aged 65 and older. But many of the problems that can lead to missing teeth don’t happen overnight. No matter how old you are, there are steps you can take today to avoid the most common causes of tooth loss.

Gum Health and Missing Teeth

The leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease, also known as periodontitis. It all starts with plaque, a sticky film filled with bacteria that can build up on your teeth. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and then periodontitis. 

When periodontitis isn’t treated, it can cause gaps to develop between your gums and your teeth. Over time, bacteria will build up in these gaps, causing infections that damage the tissue and bones of your gums and teeth. This damage weakens the area and can eventually lead to missing teeth.

Periodontitis can happen to anyone, but some people are at a higher risk. Let your dentist know if you:

  • Take medications that cause dry mouth
  • Are a current or former smoker or chewing tobacco user
  • Have a condition that affects your immune system
  • Have diabetes

Your dentist can provide you with information about preventing gum disease and protecting your teeth.

The Dangers of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is another leading cause of missing teeth. When plaque builds up on your teeth, it begins to eat away at their outer layer of enamel. This leads to small holes in the enamel called cavities or dental caries. When they’re left untreated, cavities can continue building deeper into your tooth, damaging the soft tissues inside. Teeth with severe cavities sometimes need to be removed to relieve the pain this damage can cause.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Keeping your teeth clean and healthy is the most important thing you can do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. In fact, poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of these issues. To keep your gums and teeth strong, be sure to:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss at least once a day
  • See your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups

A diet that’s high in sugar is another risk factor for missing teeth. The bacteria that cause plaque feed on sugar, so it’s important to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth out with water when you’ve been enjoying sugary foods. If you currently drink a lot of soda or other sugary drinks, you may want to consider switching to water.

Missing teeth can affect your ability to chew and speak, and may affect your self confidence. While there are several solutions available today, from dentures to dental implants, the best approach is to prevent the problem if you can. Taking good care of your smile will help it last a long time. 

Missing Teeth Solutions
At LifeSmiles by Randy Mitchmore, DDS, we offer state-of-the-art solutions for missing teeth. Our dental implants are made with Zirconia, the strongest ceramic material available. Contact us to learn more.


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Sally May-Frankum
Dental Hygienist

Sally’s favorite part about working with the team at LifeSmiles is the fun she has with her co-workers. Additionally, she appreciates working with Dr. Randy Mitchmore because much like her, he values whole-body health for his patients. She’s proud to be part of a team that does such high quality work.

Outside of the office: Sally enjoys being with her children and grandchildren and uses writing as a creative outlet. On the weekends, she can be found doing all things outdoors including hiking and biking.


Bucket List: Going to Europe, exploring every US state, and zip-lining.

Hero: The Highest Power of them all!

Toni Wilson
Queen of Charisma

 “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

Toni’s favorite thing about working at LifeSmiles is the beautiful scenery. When patients are having anxiety about their dental appointments, she creates a fearless atmosphere with her charisma and warmth. She is passionate about helping every patient achieve their dental health goals. She says she truly loves being part of a team where she can grow professionally and personally.

Outside the office: Toni loves spending time with her husband and their sons. She also likes to show off her green thumb with her work in her garden.

Bucket list item:
Travel around the world and learn about other cultures and regions.

Your hero: Harriet Tubman because she was passionate and a fearless leader unafraid of any of life’s challenges.

Mike Mireles
Elite Care and Education Specialist

Smiling is contagious

Mike began his career at LifeSmiles seeking an opportunity to expand his skillset and advance his career. Today he works at Dr. Michmore’s side through dental procedures and surgeries. He loves working at LifeSmiles because the entire team is continually learning and keeping up to date with the newest advancements in dentistry.

Outside the office: Mike enjoys barbecuing on his patio, traveling, and spending time with his family. He’s a dog dad of two: Tati and Tito.

Bucket list item:
To visit Thailand and Dubai and to try skydiving!

Your hero: Mike looks up to his parents and is forever grateful for the life lesson they taught him; respect, manners, strength, and to be a go-getter. He continues to carry these things with him with everything he does.

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Sandra Smith

Sandra is 44 years old and is a star athlete for the Special Olympics. At LifeSmiles, Sandra stocks patient rooms and the coffee bar. She does all kinds of special projects like decorating for holidays and preparing awesome gifts for our patients.

Sandra loves being around all her friends and is proud to wear a LifeSmiles shirt, jacket, and name badge. You’ll always find her smiling and helping make our patients smile too.

Outside the Office: Sandra likes to go fishing with her family, swim, go to dances, and walk the mall with her friends. She is very active in the Special Olympics and won second place in the state volleyball tournament (go, Sandra!) in 2020. She sings in her church choir and attends international performances with them.

Spirit Animal: Butterfly. She likes them because they are pretty.

Andie Willis
Director of Details

Andie is married with one son, Logan and now lives in The Woodlands. She grew up in Sugar Land and has followed in her mother’s footsteps – she has been in dentistry for over 35 years. Andie actually started out working in the office with her mom and learned many things from the way she worked.

Andie has been a Lead Dental Assistant for most of her career. She has worked for many specialists including oral surgeons and periodontists. She has extensive training in all facets of dentistry but especially enjoys the surgical and cosmetic side. As a science nerd, dentistry fascinates Andie and gives her a sense of accomplishment.

At LifeSmiles, she is our “Director of Details”. Andie is known for being a perfectionist because she likes to gather as much information as possible and go the extra mile to match Dr. Mitchmore’s high standards. She truly loves being part of our dedicated team of professionals who go above and beyond for our amazing patients.

Outside of the Office: Andie is addicted to Lagree fitness and loves to go off-shore fishing.

Your Hero: Her Mom. She is the most selfless person Andie knows.

John Copous
Chief Enthusiasm Officer

John became a new patient of LifeSmiles in 2008. He likes to tell people he was not allowed to leave. John worked down the street for 14 years before joining the team. He has a passion for meeting new people and extending genuine hospitality.

Often the first person people meet on the phone and when they walk in the door, you can count on John for a warm welcoming smile. You can even ‘hear’ it over the phone. He says, “I believe everyone deserves the red carpet treatment and love seeing other people smile.”

John hears stories every day how someone’s smile is holding them back. He can barely contain his excitement when shouting the praises of Dr. Mitchmore and the entire team. He shares passionate stories of how the transformations people have received at LifeSmiles, changed their lives.

Outside the Office: John loves being outside. He enjoys sharing a beach house with friends and family. He loves entertaining, throwing a party and cooking at home. He can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He’s an amateur stand-up comic.

Bucket List Item: To live in a foreign country for one year, somewhere near the beach. Take some time to write an epic love novel loosely based on my large Italian family.

Your Hero: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. While fictional, the character incorporates admirable qualities from real life people. She believes in the goodness of everyone, keeps on going and moves forward despite any obstacle. She is able to find humor in other people’s quirks, accepts them and makes sense of it all. Plus, she’s a little outrageous too.