The Psychological Problems with Missing Teeth

Empty sockets cause a wide range of physical problems, but the mental consequences can be just as devastating. While the obvious problems of pain and additional difficulty in chewing and speaking are significant for some patients, for others, the insecurity and damage to the patient’s self-image missing teeth causes can be much worse.

The Problem with Empty Sockets

Because empty sockets provide no support for surrounding teeth, bite misalignment is a fairly common side effect of missing teeth. Eating when you’re missing teeth opens the door to a number of other problems. When the patient bites down, food enters these empty sockets, making it painful to bite and chew certain foods. Patients’ who’ve lost teeth often end up changing their diets to include softer foods that are easier to eat. Biting isn’t the only issue. As food particles enter these sockets, they make it difficult to thoroughly clean your smile each day, hiding in the hard-to-reach spaces between newly shifted teeth and in the socket.

The Position of Your Missing Tooth Matters

Depending on their location in the mouth, these empty sockets can make life exceptionally difficult for the patient due to reduced chewing and speaking ability. Conversely, if the lost tooth is in the front, then the patient will feel insecurity due to their broken smile. This detail can make the difference between patients experiencing severe psychological consequences, or none at all.

Bereavement – Grieving over Your Lost Teeth

When we lose our teeth, we go through at bereavement process similar to when we lose a limb or a loved one. This process even follows the same steps as when you’re grieving a loved one. These five steps are as follows:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Beyond the Pain – Mental Conditions Caused by Missing Teeth

The physical symptoms of missing teeth can bring about problems with the patient’s mental image or self-esteem. For example, consistent problems with chewing and eating the foods you want can be extremely frustrating and can cause a number of psychological consequences. Here are some of the other mental issues brought about by missing teeth:


When the combination of problems caused by your missing teeth hit you, depression can ensue. Granted, there’s a difference between clinical depression and the temporary depression caused by an event, both make a significant impact on the lives of sufferers. For those who become depressed due to their missing teeth, it’s likely that their social lives, career, family life, and health could be affected.

Damaged Confidence

Whether from the other symptoms of tooth loss or from the alteration in their smile, many patients report damage to their confidence after missing a tooth. This effect may vary greatly from patient to patient, but if patients are reliant on their million dollar smile, then some teeth missing out of that smile can harm their confidence.

Feeling Unattractive

While feeling unattractive may seem like a minor or emotional consequence, it can take a toll on nearly every aspect of your life. If your missing tooth is in the front of your smile, it’ll appear broken and incomplete, taking a toll on your self-confidence.


Missing teeth can sap your confidence, leaving you unable to lead your meetings, ask out a dating prospect, and engage in social plans. This state of passiveness can have an over-reaching effect on your life, essentially grinding it to a halt. Many of the great things we do in life require us to be at our best and most focused – missing teeth can derail that for some patients.

Don’t let Missing Teeth Interfere with Your Life

What is it you hate most about missing teeth? At Altschuler Periodontic and Implant Center in Gainesville, FL, we understand the problems created by missing teeth. That’s why we offer the most effective solutions available for our patients. Dr. Altschuler is highly-experienced in helping patients who have lost teeth – he will examine your unique conditions to see which treatment is ideal for your needs. Contact our dental team today to see how we can help your smile!