Many of our patients tell us that they notice their teeth aren’t in the same place they were when they were younger. Our teeth shift over time for many reasons. The general cause is due to pressure that is constantly being applied to teeth which can force them out of position, and this can create gaps, crooked teeth, crowding, or misalignments that may damage tooth structure.
If you know what has caused your teeth to shift this can help us find ways to prevent it from getting worse. Some of the most common causes of tooth movement include:
- A history of orthodontic movement where a retainer was not worn long enough.
- Age – As you get older your teeth may become shorter and the enamel between the teeth may start to wear away.
- Genetics – There may be a common family history of teeth that tend to shift in similar patterns.
- Jaw clenching or teeth grinding – When a consistent force is applied to the teeth by clenching or grinding the jaws can become misaligned which puts added pressure on the teeth.
- Loss of a tooth – The teeth next to a large space tend to collapse into it and to shift into the gap if it is not replaced.
- Tooth decay – Decay may weaken the way the teeth lean on each other.
- Bad habits – A tongue thrust or thumb sucking can cause the teeth to tip forward.
- Crowded teeth – If your teeth are too large for your mouth or did not erupt beside one another, their own pressure can cause the surrounding teeth to shift.
- Injury to the teeth or mouth – If you are hit you may loosen a tooth, which can cause it to move permanently.
- Periodontal disease – The bone and gum foundation is weakened in this state and can “let go” of the tooth.
We can treat many of these conditions here at Rossen Dental. Depending on your cause, we have a number of treatment options that balance your teeth and bring them to symmetric function. Even if your concerns are simply cosmetic, we can work with you to ensure that your teeth will have the best chance for minimal movement in the future.