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The sentence would be:

He is Xing now.

Where X means "losing teeth" or "teeth are falling out" because he is getting older. I am assuming such phrasal verbs or words exist because it would be awful/dumb to speak as:

He is losing his teeth now because he is getting older.

I might be wrong though. Please suggest how it should be expressed.

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That's neither awful nor dumb. It's a perfectly normal sentence. You are looking for wordy, cumbersome or long-winded. (Though even that is debatable.) –  RegDwigнt Jan 4 '13 at 19:08

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The medical term, edentulism, and its verb form, edentulating, might fit. But I suspect that they are not really suitable for conversations with anybody besides dentists, orthodontists, and lexicographers. The verb form, while not common, nevertheless appears to be in use.

I also noticed a couple of exotic instances of the word being used metaphorically:

But such logic hasn't stopped the court from edentulating itself before;

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As Robusto says, long in the tooth is a common expression. But more often than not, people aren't even particularly thinking of teeth when they say this - let alone the possibility that receding gums will probably eventually lead to tooth loss. It's just become a stock phrase meaning "aged, very old".

I can't find any relevant instances of this, but I think if you said...

"He's getting gummy in his old age"

...most people would understand what you meant.


I've belatedly taking note that OP isn't a native speaker, and has accepted the somewhat risible edentulating. That's a very "exotic" word, more likely to occur in facetious metaphorical contexts such as the one cited in the answer (an allusion to the law having no teeth). Like the single instance in Google Books, the handful of non-figurative instances on the Internet refer to dentists removing (usually, all) teeth for therapeutic reasons, rather than to teeth simply falling out due to old age.

Obviously I don't think He is edentulating now is suitable for OP's context. So I'm amending my answer to point out that his initial assumption is simply mistaken. As Reg comments, there's nothing "awful" or "dumb" about...

He is losing his teeth now because he is getting older.

A more "formal" (but still "normal") description might be...

He is undergoing [the natural process of] age-related tooth loss.

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Please suggest how it should be expressed.

As age is not the cause of tooth loss, perhaps it should not be expresssed as such. Periodontitis is likely the cause you are referring to; which may have higher occurrences in older people, though it is caused by poor oral hygiene, stress, poor diet, or genetics.

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This is a comment. Please change accordingly. –  Kris Mar 16 '13 at 6:36

I do not think such a word exists - it is a rather specific definition.

If a more euphemistic, figurative approach is acceptable, I would write:

"Age is taking his teeth."

It's simple, and to the point.

Also, it's "losing", not "loosing", unless he's making a conscious effort to "set free" his teeth.

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We often say someone is long in the tooth to indicate that they are old. It comes from the notion of the gums receding (prior, presumably to the teeth falling out).

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My question does not concern with a phrase meaning old, rather on falling of truth. Till now, I found @coleopterist's answer somewhat acceptable to a good extent! Try like him! –  Mistu4u Jan 4 '13 at 17:34
    
I would have guessed this is what the O.P. was after, as there are many instances of this phrase in Google books. Some are more literal, such as, "bone loss may occur slowly to some extent throughout life, resulting in exposure of the roots of the teeth, getting long in the tooth as epithelial migration occurred to compensate for this injury," but many, if not most, are more idiomatic, like this one (from a 2000 mystery novel): "Yeah, I'm getting a little long in the tooth to be 'dating,' you know?" –  J.R. Jan 4 '13 at 17:36
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I also think it's worth pointing out that this idiom sometimes refers to things other than "conventional" old age, such as professional athletes in their late 30's, or even technology. For example (from a 2000 edition of Computer telephony: encyclopedia), "Despite its tremendous success and proliferation in global telecommunications, SONET is looking a bit long in the tooth when compared to recent advances of pure optical networking." –  J.R. Jan 4 '13 at 17:50
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I'm fairly certain long in the tooth arises from horses, whose teeth continue to erupt (appear to grow) into old age, and on the frequent discrepancy between the age a horse-seller advertises and the true age of the horse. –  Andrew Lazarus Jan 4 '13 at 20:32

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