Upwards of 90% of adults have at least one tooth missing
This could be caused by extensive decay, infection, or they just were not born with them. The important thing to understand is that teeth like to touch each other. So, if we lose a tooth, or it was not present, the next to the empty space will shift or drift into it. Also, the tooth above or below will grow down or up into the space. It’s a phenomenon that we call supereruption.
As teeth shift and drift, as we open and close to chew, we can start to put pressure on those teeth which can cause premature wear and can also cause joint pain due to changes in force. For us to have healthy teeth and joints, we want a full compliment of teeth that bite evenly together. This is why, we as dentists, replace teeth, not just for function and esthetics, but also for overall body and joint health.