One or more missing teeth can lead to jawbone loss at the site of the gap. This can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and overall health. You may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth, an altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to speak and eat normally.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained through use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jaws and stimulate the bone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone (the portion that anchors the teeth in the mouth) no longer receives necessary stimulation and begins to break down, or resorb. The body no longer uses or “needs” the bone in these areas, so it deteriorates and goes away.