Edentulism: Dental condition in adults could reflect nutritional disorders

The loss of permanent teeth, both total and partial, is known as edentulism, a condition that almost half of people have suffered throughout their lives.

Its consequences are not only aesthetic, but also have transcendental functional implications and can be the basis, among others, of many nutritional disorders that affect adults and elderly people.

Periodontal and Oral Health Observatory

With the aim of solving the information deficits that exist in terms of oral health, an alliance between the SEPA Foundation and Key-Stone has been launched to create the Periodontal and Oral Health Observatory.

The president of the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osseointegration (SEPA), Dr. José Nart, indicates that “this entity will serve, among other tasks, to know the perceptions and habits of the Spanish population in relation to their periodontal health, their peri-implant health and their oral health in general, establishing specific reports that facilitate decision-making and allow the development of a periodontal health promotion strategy.”


The data on edentulism in Spain appear in the first report of the 'OmniVision Salus' initiative, promoted by Key-Stone. Its objective is to investigate issues related to attitudes, behavior and health in the dental field.

The conclusions of the survey reveal that practically half of the adults living in Spain have experienced the total or partial loss of at least one tooth.

Furthermore, almost one out of every two Spaniards who declare themselves edentulous has not yet resolved this condition with a prosthetic solution. However, most of them are interested in replacing the lost parts.


The survey was carried out on more than 3,000 adults, aged between 20 and 79 years. Nearly half of respondents (44%) reported that they were missing one or more natural teeth. Therefore, they were edentulous or had gone through a state of partial or total edentulism (resolving it thanks to prosthetic rehabilitation).

Regarding the intention or not to solve this problem, “it has been documented that almost one in two Spaniards who declare themselves edentulous have not yet resolved their condition with a prosthetic solution,” highlights Roberto Rosso, founder and president of Key-Stone.

That is, currently 23% of the adult population is missing teeth in Spain. This corresponds to almost 10 million Spaniards. Of them, half say they are willing to solve the problem by replacing their missing teeth, while the other half say they are not interested or, more frequently, do not have the financial availability to solve the problem with a prosthetic solution.

Conclusions drawn

Edentulism is a problem that increases with age, but it is not the only factor to take into account. It has also been observed that the cultural level, linked to that of schooling, is a particularly relevant aspect regarding the situation of edentulism. It is noted that a lower level of education is associated with a greater probability of tooth loss.

For the president of the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osseointegration (SEPA), Dr. José Nart, there is no doubt that “prevention is the main strategy to avoid the onset and progression of periodontal diseaseswhich, if not treated properly, cause bone loss and progressive mobility, up to tooth loss.”

In this way, it should be noted that some of the main causes of tooth loss are periodontitis, cavities or dental trauma.

“But, above all, periodontitis can cause serious partial or total edentulism, even in young people, with serious functional, aesthetic and psychological problems for patients,” highlights Dr. Paula Matesanz, vice president of SEPA.

The doctor adds that “increased life expectancy is also associated with an increase in quality of life expectations and, at the same time, increasingly increases the need for treatments to overcome edentulism.”

(With information from EFE)

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