Resorption, or shrinking of the bone in the jaws, is a side-effect of two major dental factors: gum disease and tooth loss. When infection is left untreated or teeth are lost due to extraction, disease or any other reason, the bone tends to become weaker and smaller. This causes changes in your facial appearance, jeopardizes the stability of remaining teeth and makes it more difficult for dental implants to be placed.
When a tooth is extracted and not replaced right away with a dental implant, the remaining bone will start to pull back and resorb. While this may not seem significant, it causes enough resorption that the adjacent teeth can be compromised as well. Additionally, advanced periodontitis (gum disease) causes bone loss due to active infection in the soft tissues and ligaments surrounding the teeth. Gradually, teeth become mobile due to the lack of support and may fall out or need to be extracted.