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Common causes of loss of teeth

Dental diseases

The most common reason for the loss of teeth is gum disease (parodontal). In a nutshell it is an infection located in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth that causes bone loss.

The infection can progress to the extent that the teeth fall off on their own, it was considered that their repair is no longer possible, or that they are too compromised to be useful and should be extracted.

Tooth decay can also progress to such a degree that it is not possible to repair its functionality. Caries can also cause significant infection around the ends of the root (s), which makes tooth extraction necessary to avoid subsequent infectious complications.

Finally, the teeth can crack or fracture in a such way that they cannot be preserved and it is necessary to extract them. This can happen as a result of habits of (bruxism) clenching and grinding the teeth, or due to mechanical reasons related to the lack of sufficient support of the other teeth that causes extreme pressure on the teeth that still have functionality.


Trauma can cause tooth loss in various ways. Trauma can “throw” teeth, such as when a child falls from the skateboard on his face. However, it is common for trauma to affect the teeth in ways that do not manifest until months or years later. Root fractures may not be apparent until some time later, when an infection develops. Occasionally, after trauma, the teeth may be treated and appear fine, until many years later, when the root resorption becomes evident. It happens when the body reacts against itself and causes the cells to wear down the surface of the root, which often allows the bone to invade the defect that has been created.

Injuries of a more severe nature may also affect teething. Significant defects of the jaws, in addition to those of the teeth, may occur as a result of trauma. It may be after surgery to remove a tumor from the mouth and / or jaws, or as a result of external trauma, for example a car accident or other forms of blunt trauma or gunshot wounds. These types of trauma can often be composed of significant loss of bone volume or even continuity of the jaw and may require other forms of surgery to reconstruct the anatomy of the jaw, as well as enable prosthetic replacement of the piece.

Congenital absence

It is not unusual for there to be a congenital absence of one or more teeth. Usually, the primary tooth (of babies) is present, but there is no successor (permanent tooth) to replace it. Frequently, this will be apparent when the primary tooth is changed or dropped (usually during adolescence). However, often the primary tooth will remain in place and function until it fails due to lack of root support and other dental disease. At this time it will be necessary to extract it. The missing teeth are most often the lateral incisors and the premolars of the upper jaw.

Before placing a dental implant on the site of a tooth with a congenital absence, it is important that your doctor verify that a dental germ (a cyst-like structure) is not present in the maxilla.