When a tooth is lost, the effects are not solely limited to the immediate area. There can also be progressive, adverse effects to the surrounding and opposing teeth that should be reviewed with your doctor. When a tooth is lost, whether to an injury or decay, if the empty space left behind is not occupied the structure of the mouth can begin to alter as a result. To start, the immediate area where the tooth is lost suffers adverse changes in the bone and gum support, typically in the form of tissue loss. These changes can spread to the neighboring teeth, resulting in loss of bone support and the teeth drifting into the vacated space. Additionally, the tooth opposing the empty space begins to ascend or descend into the space in the process called “over eruption”. This then jeopardizes additional surrounding bone structure and teeth. The progression of alterations can lead to issues with the patient’s bite as the teeth gradually become misaligned. Each step in this progression can escalate the severity of holistic damage to the mouth, as well as the measures needed to remedy it. Your dentist is the best resource to help assess your current dental health, and recommend the best treatment to fit your unique situation.