How a single missing tooth can lead to weakening of all other teeth?

When a natural teeth is lost, most of the individuals feel absence of that particular natural teeth. Natural teeth or tooth can be lost because of different reasons like

a) Gum Disease 

b) Trauma (accident) to the teeth

c) Poor Oral Hygiene (neglect)

d) Cavities

e) Missing by birth

f) Other rare reasons like cyst/ tumour of the teeth 

Single missing tooth can lead to many changes in the teeth present adjacent to the missing teeth area as well as to the teeth in the opposite jaw.  Here are the fallout 

The following points elaborate on the sequence as a result of missing tooth -


This is one of the most common bite change which can be seen after a tooth missing from the mouth. When a tooth is lost, space is created between two teeth which were present adjacent to the lost teeth . With the loss of the tooth, the tooth present posterior or behind the teeth starts shifting forward thus occupying the space with it’s crown portion. This leads to the tilting of the respective tooth. This is also known as migration of the respective tooth in the same arch.

Supra eruption:

Supra eruption is a commonly seen bite change in the mouth of the patients who have lost single tooth. When a tooth is lost, the tooth present in the opposite arch which made occlusion with the lost teeth earlier, has no tooth to occlude on closure of the mouth. Therefore, it tends to supra erupt (over grow) and comes into the opposite jaw space eventually. The part in between the tooth and root portion can be seen when the tooth supra erupts. 

Food impaction

When there is empty space present in between two teeth in the mouth then food chewed by the patient gets stuck in the particular space which eventually leads to impaction of the food in the respective area. The food gets wedged in between the gum present in the missing area. This leads to spread of the deposition in the adjacent teeth thus leading to the formation of the unhygienic conditions/infection in the mouth .The gum of the teeth present adjacent to the missing area is also compromised with time if not treated on time.

TMJ problems

After few months of loss of single tooth, various TMJ issues (TMJ -temporomandibular joint- the joint connecting your lower jaw to the skull) can be seen. Improper opening and closing of the mouth as well as unwanted forces because of migration of the adjacent teeth lead to improper functioning of the temporomandibular joint.

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