Understanding Malnutrition & How It Leads To Tooth Loss

April 11, 2024 - By Bruce Michaelson
Understanding Malnutrition & How It Leads To Tooth Loss

Generally, malnutrition is a sensitive topic as it affects the overall well-being of a person. However, malnutrition has no exceptions when it comes to dentistry and is an equally essential element that contributes to enhanced oral health. If you’re a person who experiences dental issues often, then your diet could be partly to blame. As we all know, sugary foods are bad for oral health, but that doesn’t mean you can overlook the necessary nutrients that your teeth and gum require. This article will break down to you the concept of malnutrition and how it leads to loss of teeth.

What is malnutrition, and how it leads to tooth loss? 

As most of you’ll be aware, malnutrition, in simple terms, means a lack of proper nutrients that your body needs for effective and healthy functioning.

It’s a complex condition that may lead to several changes in your body composition, including tooth loss, and contributes to functional decline.

There are many reasons why people experience teeth fall out from malnutrition.

The most common reasons are transportation barriers, food insecurity, chronic conditions, medications, poverty, social isolation, frailty, depression, impaired swallowing, and poor oral health.

Like almost every other part of our body, even teeth are a living part of our body that can be severely affected when they don’t get the required nutrition.

Teeth need nutrition to maintain healthy levels of enamel and to prevent tooth decay.

Your teeth will absorb the good nutrients as a source of protection against acid and bacteria.

When you are malnourished, these acids and bacteria in your mouth can take over all your teeth and cause tooth decay and many other oral health issues.

When your tooth decay is severe for a prolonged period, it leads to your teeth being pulled and eventually resulting in tooth loss.

Malnourished teeth is a serious issue that can lead to various chronic cavity problems.

Get your teeth checked today at your nearest dentist in Dubai to avoid malnutrition and teeth loss.

When your teeth don’t get proper nutrients, it is difficult for your immune system to defend itself against infections.

Such a condition increases the risk of developing periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.

Gum diseases are highly prone to cause tooth loss and can progress faster when people don’t get proper nutrition.

For personalized advice and dental care, including treatments for tooth loss and the best dental implants in Dubai, feel free to contact American Dental Clinic.

Causes of Tooth Loss: 

Many factors affect tooth loss, all crucial to oral health. For preventive care, it is critical to comprehend the causes. The subsequent points underscore the prevalent factors that contribute to dental caries:

  • Malnutrition

Mouth decay and eventual loss of teeth can result from malnutrition and an unbalanced diet, which impede the absorption of vital nutrients (especially vitamin D and calcium).

  • Periodontal Disease

Inadequate oral hygiene facilitates the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, which subsequently induce gingival inflammation and infection. Gum disease that is left untreated is a leading cause of tooth loss.

  • Bruxism

Habitual tooth grinding or clenching, generally known as bruxism, erodes tooth enamel, compromises the integrity of the dental structure, and potentially necessitates extraction.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

Disregarding consistent dental hygiene practices, such as flossing, brushing, and visiting the dentist, escalates the likelihood of developing cavities and periodontal disease, which ultimately culminate in the loss of teeth.

  • Smoking & Tobacco Use

As a result of its association with periodontal disease and interference with the healing process, tobacco use hastens tooth loss.

  • Medical Disorders

Diabetic and autoimmune disorders, among others, have the potential to impair oral health and heighten the susceptibility to tooth loss.

By implementing a well-rounded dental examination schedule, consistent good oral hygiene, and a well-balanced diet, individuals can substantially mitigate the likelihood of tooth loss and preserve the health and functionality of their smiles.

Two primary essential nutrients for tooth health 

Many types of nutrients are essential for teeth and overall oral health. For easy understanding, we have broken down the two most vital nutrients for tooth health. 

Vitamin D 

Lack of vitamin D is one of the leading causes of tooth issues in the majority of people.

Vitamin D is what allows us to absorb calcium.

Our entire oral health and effective functioning of the oral system depends on calcium and vitamin D.

When your body lacks Vitamin D, the ability of your teeth to absorb calcium reduces.

This contributes to gum disease, tooth decay, and, for children, underdeveloped teeth- which all cause tooth loss.

You can get Vitamin D from exposure to morning sunlight for some time, milk, eggs, and fish. 


If you’ve been to a dentist, then it’s very likely to hear the emphasis they make on calcium and its importance for tooth health. This is because our bones and teeth are made up of calcium.

When you lack calcium in the body, it will pull calcium out of the bones to correct the imbalance.

When this happens, your tooth’s strength and structure can weaken, making it easier to decay and break, causing tooth loss.

Legumes, dairy products, leafy greens, and almonds are good sources of calcium to include in your daily diet.

If you doubt that you may be suffering from any dental issues resulting from malnutrition, contact us at American Dental Clinic.

We have two clinics located in the heart of 2 major cities for easy convenience: the American Dental Clinic in Dubai and The Advanced American Dental Center in Abu Dhabi.

We are one of the best-known dentists in Dubai and across the UAE and have been providing a one-stop centre for all dental services in the UAE since 1985 with a team of handpicked dentists of varying dental disciplines. 

FAQs: Tooth Loss

Can malnutrition cause tooth decay?

Absolutely. Malnutrition deprives your body and teeth of essential nutrients needed for proper functioning. Inadequate nutrition weakens teeth, making them susceptible to decay and gum disease. Over time, severe tooth decay can result in the need for extraction, ultimately leading to tooth loss.

Can malnutrition cause toothaches?

Malnutrition can indirectly cause toothache by compromising the immune system’s ability to defend against infections, especially in the gums. When your body lacks crucial nutrients, it becomes challenging to resist bacteria and acids in the mouth, leading to malnutrition teeth and gum diseases. Gum diseases, if left untreated, often result in toothache and, in severe cases, tooth loss.

What role do Vitamin D and Calcium play in preventing tooth loss?

Vitamin D and Calcium are vital for maintaining optimal tooth health. Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption, a key component for strong teeth. Lack of Vitamin D can reduce calcium absorption, contributing to gum disease, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss. Calcium, on the other hand, is essential for the strength and structure of teeth. Insufficient calcium in the body can weaken teeth, making them more prone to decay and breakage, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.

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