Our Dental Blog

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Losing Teeth as an Adult

As we age, we gain a lot of wisdom but we also lose a few things—including our teeth! By age 50, most people in the U.S. have lost at least 12 permanent teeth. It is easy to think that if the lost tooth isn’t noticeable visually that it is not worth replacing. After all, it costs money to get dentures, bridges or dental implants. Tooth loss impacts more than the appearance of your smile. Tooth loss also impacts how you use your mouth to chew as well as overall jaw strength. Before you put off replacing a missing tooth, consider the consequences of losing teeth.

  1. Infection – If you lost a tooth, find that tooth and get to a dentist as soon as possible! If a dentist isn’t available, consider going to a hospital emergency room. Dental implants are natural-looking teeth that can replace missing teeth. Don’t try to put the tooth back inside your mouth. Losing a tooth may have an underlying condition, which is why it’s important to schedule regular dental checkups.

    Even if your tooth simply gets loosened during an impact, you should go to the dentist to have it checked out. You want to make sure you take action early to avoid the unwanted jaw and facial impacts of losing teeth. Infections can lead to serious problems.
  2. Weakened jawbone – Teeth are bones, and the bones of your mouth all work together to shore up the strength and alignment of your jaw. When teeth are missing, your jaw loses some of its structural integrity. Bones are strengthened by weight-bearing exercises and friction, and chewing with your teeth helps stimulate the jawbone, keeping it strong and healthy. If part of the jawbone does not have teeth to stimulate the bone regeneration process, the jaw can weaken, resulting in the loss of more teeth and potential changes in jaw shape.
  3. Increased tooth loss – When one tooth goes, it can have a cascading effect that weakens the jawbone and gums, ultimately paving the way for more teeth to fall out or to be lost easily in unexpected impacts.
  4. Changes in face shape or mouth shape – When a tooth is missing, it allows the other teeth to move around. Particularly when multiple teeth are missing, you can see noticeable changes in the cheeks, the jawline, and other areas of the face. When front teeth are missing, the lips tend to sink in and lose volume. The visible gaps after losing teeth can also be unseemly.
  5. Difficulty chewing – If back teeth are missing, you may be unable to chew food normally. This can slow down eating and increase the likelihood of choking.
  6. Muscle imbalances – If you are unable to use one side of your mouth for chewing due to losing teeth, you may overdevelop the muscles on the other side of your jaw, which can result in pain or headaches.
  7. Inability to wear dentures – Dentures and bridges work great to replace missing teeth, but if enough teeth are missing, over time, your jawbone can weaken and change shape, preventing dentures from fitting or making the surrounding teeth too weak to support dentures or a dental bridge. Many people are turning to dental implants as a natural-looking, permanent solution.

What puts someone at high risk of losing teeth?

  • Not getting regular dental care is one of the most significant factors in tooth loss, after age.
  • Poor oral care at home is also a factor. Make sure you brush and floss regularly.
  • Smoking can lead to losing teeth.
  • Diabetes can increase the risk of losing teeth. So can other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis.

Interestingly, front teeth are more likely to fall out due to gum disease than back teeth.

What are the options for replacing lost teeth?

Dental implants are the preferred way to restore lost teeth and ensure the stability and strength of the jaw. Implants are surgically embedded into the jawbone and have the same function as regular teeth. They have the greatest longevity of any tooth restoration approach and are the easiest to care for long-term, even though the implant process can require multiple visits over several months.

Dental bridges or dentures can also serve as tooth replacements. They are slightly more affordable options, but they may not be as effective at preserving jawbone strength. However, bridges and dentures, if worn consistently, can prevent teeth from moving around and altering the shape of the mouth and jaw.

Get Expert or Emergency Help If you have lost a tooth or suffer from missing teeth, contact LifeSmiles as soon as possible to speak with Dr. Randy Mitchmore about replacement options. He is trained in surgical and non-surgical tooth replacement approaches. The long-term health of your mouth is the most important thing to us, so call us for a consultation where we can discuss your options.


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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.