Can You Eat Without Molars?

Hi, I am 53 years old and had #19 tooth removed. Will I be able to eat normally once the space is healed? Or do I have to get a bridge?

Doctor Answers 5

Yes you can but teeth will shift and effect your bite

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You will find harder initially to enjoy food so it will be better to replace it with implant or bridge as early as possible to avoid teeth shifting and bite change

Frisco Dentist

Can I eat without molars?

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The answer is yes... about 50 million people in the USA are missing teeth. The real question is the long term problems of not replacing teeth can cause shifting and loss of other teeth. IF you have the time and money I suggest replacement good luck


Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD      CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Can I eat without my molars?

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Sure you can eat without your molars. you can even eat without teeth but why would you want to? At 53 you are young and I would hope you have many quality years of life ahead of you. The quality of those years will certainly be impacted by how healthy your teeth are. 

It may not seem like a big deal to some, losing a tooth here or there. Especially in areas that are not that visible when smiling. But there are many negative consequences to losing teeth and the loss of molars can have a big impact on you. Remember when you lose teeth , you also lose the bone that supported those teeth. That means the bone shrinks away and support for the teeth on either side of the lost tooth decreases. In some cases this will cause the surrounding teeth to tip into the toothless area. It will also affect your appearance with aging. Many people suffer from a "sunken-in, aged Look" in the cheek area when they have missing molars in the upper jaw. 

Other complications can arise from the loss of the chewing surface area, much of which is provided by the molars for crushing and chewing food. This activity, known as mastication, not only helps you digest food, it allows you to taste your food better. Having molars allows you to enjoy a well rounded diet, which obviously has direct consequences on your overall health. 

So, can you live without Molars and still eat? Yes, many do but ask most of those people missing their teeth if they would enjoy life more with their teeth back and most will tell you they would. 

We are at an incredible time in dentistry. We can replace missing teeth, in some cases immediately, with implants that function just like your real teeth. Bridges are also a good option when a single tooth is missing and can again provide you with a well balanced biting surface for eating. With options like that available today why would you not want your tooth back?

Paul Newitt, BSc, DMD
Vancouver Dentist

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With out molars

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You can eat with molars.  You can eat without teeth!  If you look at the molars from the goodyear blimp view, you will see a large space. like a table.  There teeth were meant for chewing.  If you look at the roots, the have two or three large root, to survive the forces while you eat.

Look at the pre-molars, the ones in front of the molar from the same view.  They are smaller but still have space to chew.  The roots are smaller, but may may two. They were also designed to chew.  However, since they are smaller it is harder to chew whit them alone and the possibilities of the roots weakening is larger.

The front teeth are not for chewing, as you look at them they have no space and the roots were not designed for those forces.  Hopefully, you already know the answer.  You can eat with out molars.  It will only get tougher and tougher as time goes by.  The teeth may start to move and you may start to loose more teeth.

I like to have one set of healthy molars per side as a minimum.

Hope this helps,

David Silber, DMD

Dallas, TX


David Silber, DMD
Dallas Dentist

Can I eat without molars

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If all you are missing is #19, you should still be able to chew. The problem is since teeth do not like to be by themselves, they will tip into the empty space, which can negatively affect your occlusion and prevent you from getting a bridge later on. If you are missing many molars, you can chew with your front teeth but your front teeth were not designed for this so they can fracture very easily with all that extra force. 

Lilya Horowitz, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.