Missing Molars: 6 Reasons to Replace Missing Back Teeth

If you lose a single back tooth (molar), that's not such a big problem. Or is it? Since back teeth do most of the chewing when you eat a meal, they are more important than you might think. One missing back tooth can impact your oral and overall health in several ways.

1. Chewing Difficulty​

Eating is an activity that most people enjoy. And chewing is a major part of eating. If you can't chew properly, then your enjoyment while eating will suffer. Back teeth do the majority of chewing, especially for tough foods like steak and popcorn. If you lose just one back tooth, you lose the ability to chew comfortably on that side of your jaw.

2. Digestive Issues

The digestive process begins in your mouth. You chew up your food with your teeth, and your saliva then begins to break down the food while it is still in your mouth. If chewing becomes difficult because of a missing back tooth, you may swallow your food prematurely. Swallowing large chunks of food will cause digestive problems.

3. Poor Diet

Chewing a chunk of steak with a missing back tooth is difficult. And if you have two missing back teeth, chewing tough steak becomes a painful and uncomfortable experience. You may begin to avoid certain foods if you can't chew them comfortably. This problem means that you might not get enough vitamins and nutrients from food each day. Ultimately, your health will suffer.

4. Possible Jaw Problems

If you have lost a back tooth on one side of your mouth, you will then do the bulk of your chewing on the opposite of your mouth. If you mostly chew on one side of your mouth, you may begin to experience jaw pain and stiffness. You may also begin to suffer TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems that affect the joint that connects your jaw to your skull.

5. Misaligned Teeth

Your teeth shift constantly throughout your life. Most of this movement is toward the front of your mouth. But when a space opens up because of a lost tooth, adjacent teeth move slowly into the open space. This will cause tooth misalignment, which will affect both your appearance and your ability to chew.

6. Advanced Facial Aging

If you lose a back tooth and its root, the bone that once supported that root will soon begin to deteriorate. This is a natural process. As you lose bone, your jaw shape will change, which will change your face and make you appear older.

Talk to a dentist and don't put off replacing a missing back tooth. Take the pressure off your other teeth and your health in general by replacing missing back teeth quickly.