Tooth loss can occur for a number of reasons. Trauma, decay, and gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Congenitally missing teeth, teeth that simply never developed, are also a fairly common condition.
But missing teeth are not merely a cosmetic issue, and should not be ignored. A gap in your smile can lead to bite problems, difficulty chewing, and gradual loss of bone tissue beneath the missing tooth.
If you lose a tooth, your other teeth will automatically start to drift into the space left open, which can affect the even pattern of your bite. Without a tooth to keep it in place, a tooth above or below the missing one might begin to grow longer to fill the void in your bite. This lengthening, in turn, can cause even more bite problems.
With the loss of only a single tooth, there is a negative impact on the remaining teeth. More pressure is placed on the other teeth in order to chew properly, front teeth not meant for chewing might need to be used for that purpose, or food is not chewed as thoroughly as it should be.
The bone tissue that supports our teeth needs the stimulation of biting and chewing to stay healthy. Without that stimulation, bone area under a missing tooth gradually shrinks. The bone tissue is resorbed into the body, which can lead to a noticeable sunken spot where the tooth used to be.