Edentulous simply refers to a lack of teeth; an edentulous space is an area of the mouth that no longer has (or was always missing) teeth. An edentulous patient may have only one or two missing teeth, either in one spot or throughout the mouth. An edentulous site with just a few missing teeth may be prime for a dental implant, while a fully edentulous patient may want to consider dentures. Causes of tooth loss include tooth decay, oral trauma, and advanced periodontal disease (gum disease), and an increased risk of tooth loss is noted in patients with hypertension, diabetes, poor nutrition, smoking, and arthritis. The large majority of edentulous adults are missing teeth as a result of periodontal disease; this begins with bacteria that multiplies deep underneath the gums, causing inflammation and the destruction of the bone underneath. This removes the anchor that teeth have, causing them to become loose.