What Causes Missing Teeth?

Missing teeth can create a variety of complications, including dissatisfaction with your smile’s appearance, struggles to complete oral functions, and a greater risk of further dental problems. You can work with your dentist to replace lost teeth in a highly beneficial way. But ideally, you should preserve your natural dental structure for as long as you can.

You can better protect your smile when you know more about the potential causes of tooth loss. Learn details about three common reasons why a tooth may fall out when you read on.

What Causes Missing Teeth


One of the leading causes of tooth loss is gum disease, an infection within the gum tissue. This common disease will make the gums swell, bleed, and feel sore in its early stages, known as gingivitis. But the infection will worsen without prompt treatment from a dentist.

Then the gums will begin to recede, the teeth will feel wobbly, and bacteria can eat away at the gums, teeth, and jawbone. As a result, teeth might fall out of their sockets in this advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis.

Gum disease does not go away on its own, and it is easier to treat when diagnosed early. Do not ignore symptoms in your gums. You can prevent gum disease by keeping oral bacteria balanced with good oral hygiene.

Severe Tooth Damage

If a tooth sustains enough damage, then there is a risk of losing the tooth. A common way that a tooth can suffer severe structural problems is through decay. Most of us will develop a cavity at some point, but if left untreated, advanced tooth decay can lead to tooth loss.

Tooth decay develops when oral bacteria find a weak spot in the tooth’s enamel and begin to eat away at the dental structure. Dentists refer to the hole that can erode in the tooth’s surface as a cavity.

A dentist can treat a cavity with a dental filling when caught early. But the dentist must remove more of the tooth’s enamel if decay spreads, which can require more intense treatment.

If decay penetrates too deeply into the tooth, it may fall out. Prevent tooth decay by keeping your teeth strong through healthy oral habits and routine care from your dentist.

Facial Impact Trauma

You could also lose a tooth due to an acute accident that generates impact trauma to a tooth. If you sustain a blow to the face, for instance, a tooth might fall out. But if you act quickly, a dentist might be able to save the tooth and restore it to your smile.

Call your dentist right away, and bring the tooth with you to your dentist’s office for an emergency evaluation. If the tooth is in good shape, the dentist can place it back in your mouth. However, you will need to take action within an hour of this dental injury, or the dentist will be less likely to successfully replace this tooth.