You might think that a missing tooth (or even several missing teeth) won't affect your quality of life in any significant way. These teeth might be towards the rear of your mouth, so their absence isn't obvious to the casual observer. Perhaps you're not planning to have these teeth replaced anytime soon—if ever. Yet missing teeth can impact your life in many unexpected ways—like while on the toilet. How can teeth (or lack thereof) affect the quality (and comfort) of your bowel movements?
Due to your missing teeth, you have lost some of your physical ability to chew. The muscles of mastication in your jaw direct your molars and premolars in a grinding motion, reducing food to workable chunks that can be swallowed. When teeth are missing, this essential ability is compromised. This can lead to some significant digestive problems.
It's likely that you're swallowing larger pieces of food than you would if you had a complete set of teeth. This is quite logical, as you lack the teeth required to break these pieces of food down into appropriate, manageable portions. These pieces of food may not present a choking hazard, yet their disproportionately large size can lead to incomplete digestion.
You may not be digesting your food properly, and may not even be consuming all the relevant nutrients present in your food. Your gastrointestinal tract can still process your diet, yet its ability to do so efficiently is restricted. The outcome of this can be felt in your stomach (which may feel bloated and generally uncomfortable). You may also experience increased flatulence. However, the real evidence of your digestion issues may be most prominent while on the toilet.
Incomplete digestion can lead to erratic bowel movements. You could conceivably experience diarrhoea or constipation (or alternate between the two), and there are even studies that have linked missing teeth to irritable bowel syndrome. You must make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your tooth replacement options.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed in your jawbone which, once healed, can have a natural-looking tooth attached, which will have the same relative bite force as a natural tooth. This is the gold standard for tooth replacement but isn't the only option. There can also be a dental bridge, sitting atop your gums and connected to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. You could also receive partial dentures.
The most important thing is that you have your missing tooth (or teeth) replaced and restore your ability to chew, and therefore your ability to digest your food. Without replacing your teeth, an already-unpleasant situation will become messier.
Talk to a dentist if you are missing teeth.