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What Happens to my Jaw if I have a Missing Tooth?

Posted on 2/22/2021 by Dr. Chad Rebhun
What Happens to my Jaw if I have a Missing Tooth?The trauma of losing a tooth can be a lot to handle. It doesn't matter if it happened because of decay and disease, an extraction, or from suffering a trauma. When a patient loses an adult tooth, it can be unsettling to say the least. We were told as children our teeth will last a lifetime. Well, sometimes that just is not the case.

Impact of a Missing Tooth

What happens when we lose a tooth? How does that impact the rest of our teeth and our overall oral cavity health? Believe it or not, losing even a single tooth can cause a host of problems. When there is a vacated space where a tooth used to be, the adjacent teeth will try and shift to take up the space. If this happens, it can change how the teeth come together, altering the biting surfaces. If this happens, it can cause the teeth to improperly wear. When the teeth shift, the jaw can sometimes be brought out of alignment too which can put more pressure on the jawbone and the TMJ which can result in additional problems.

Also, the jawbone requires the pressure exerted when teeth come together in order to stay healthy and strong. With even one tooth missing, those opposing pressures are lost and the jawbone can weaken. When it weakens, the jawbone can no longer support the teeth properly which causes them to become loose and lead to even further tooth loss.


It is important to address tooth loss even if it is only one tooth. Getting a dental implant or a partial to take the place of a missing tooth will help maintain the pressure to keep the jawbone healthy. Even if an artificial tooth is too expensive, a space can be placed to maintain the vacated space to keep the teeth in their proper place.

If you have any missing teeth, it is imperative to get them fixed by our specialist to prevent any bone loss in your jaw. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.

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At Optimum Oral Surgery Group, Dr. Donald G. Rebhun has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Read the dental blog posts here.
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