Many people may feel that the loss of back teeth is not that bad of a thing, because you cannot see those teeth in the mouth. Well, the loss of a back tooth is just as bad, if not worse, than losing a front tooth.
Beyond aesthetics, the back teeth have huge functional implications. The back teeth support your jaw and preserve the vertical height in which the teeth set and are positioned. Once back teeth are lost, the vertical height slowly collapses resulting in heavier forces being exerted on the front teeth. As this may progress with time, the front teeth will begin to chip and break. The jaw joints will also be forced to over close, because the original position, that the back teeth were holding, no longer exists. This will ultimately lead to TMJ problems or discomfort as well.
When back teeth are lost, a space is created. This space will allow for tooth migration. Teeth will move up or down, depending on if there is a force or tooth present to prevent a tooth from moving. Teeth will also move forward, if there is a space left in front of a tooth. It is rare for a tooth to move backwards, unless there is grinding that exists to push it back.
Once teeth begin to migrate and move, the teeth may tip, resulting in loss of height. Also interferences begin to exist between the upper and lower arches of teeth, further resulting in TMJ problems and inflammation.
Keep your back teeth at all costs. If they are lost and not replaced, your bite and comfort level will never be the same!