Wooden model of a human jaw with a gap and a missing tooth with a sad face

What Are the Problems Caused by Missing Teeth?

According to the CDC, about a quarter of adults aged 65+ have just eight or fewer teeth left! While older people are more likely to experience tooth loss, patients of nearly any age can lose teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, and dental injury. Missing teeth can cause several problems, such as:

  1. Poor nutrition
  2. Missing teeth can make it harder to chew food, especially protein-rich meat and fibrous foods like vegetables and whole grains. Your diet becomes more restrictive and therefore less balanced. You may experience stomach problems and other nutrition-related issues.

  3. Speech problems
  4. Your teeth play an important part in how you communicate. Missing teeth can alter how you pronounce words and make it harder to enunciate and speak without slurring. Your ability to confidently smile can also suffer!

  5. Shifting Teeth
  6. If you lose a permanent tooth, the teeth next to the gap may shift to fill the space. This can quickly lead to jaw pain, misalignment, uneven wear on your teeth, and difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene.

  7. Gum disease
  8. Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss. If gum disease causes you to lose one tooth, you likely have other teeth that are vulnerable. But even if you don’t have gum disease and lose a tooth, your risk increases because bacteria can collect under the gumline and spread through your mouth.

  9. Bone loss
  10. Your teeth stimulate your jawbone every time you chew, which keeps the bone strong and healthy. When you’re missing that bone stimulation due to a missing tooth, your jawbone starts to shrink. Bone loss subsequently increases your risk of additional tooth loss and can also change your facial shape.

Tooth replacements in Monroe, WA

Even one missing tooth can contribute to serious problems like poor nutrition, difficulty speaking, and bone loss. Luckily, there are great tooth replacement options like dentures and dental implants! What works best depends on various factors, such as how many teeth you’re missing, your jawbone density, and your budget. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us today to set up a consultation with Dr. Kim!


May 27, 2023 2:27 pm
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