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:


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  • 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.

Trish moved to The Colony in 1992 after finishing her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene at Texas Woman’s University, and has been helping Dr. Rossen take care of his patients’ smiles since 1999.

8 Thoughts on “Why Have My Teeth Moved?”

  • Hello, one single tooth at the top next to my two front teeth has suddenly tired slightly inwards on one side. I’m pretty sure it’s not been like that before. There is not pain just annoying not I can feel the tooth more on my tongue. Is there a problem? Thanks.

  • My dentist told me that my permanent tooth has shifted, and I have also realized that it is starting to become a little loose. Is this caused because my tooth (canine) is next to a molar I have recently lost? (The molar tooth has not grown in yet.) How can I fix it?

  • My teeth feel as though they have shifted, when I close my jaw my teeth don’t feel they fit together. This has had before and then reverted back. I realise I am under a fair amount of stress at the moment and I wake in a morning and realise that sometimes I have been clenching my jaw whilst asleep. What can I do to prevent jaw clenching and could this be the reason my teeth feel oddly aligned?

  • My bottom right incisor next two my two front bottom teeth just shifter away and left a little gap. I noticed this because i had a problem with them always being close together and crooked, but now it had a small gap that was sooo big. What can cause this?

  • I had a jaw lock on the right side of my face but yesterday i fell over so my left jaw is in pain and i cant eat or open my mouth all the way also my tooth has been pushed down so i dont know what to do. Im really upset and im crying now

  • I had my wisdom teeth pulled in 2010. I was 26. Male. In 2016. I got four crowns put in my upper right jaw in the back. (Not enough flossing). My fault.
    By 2018 the crowns 3 and 4 developed a gap causing food to always stick in their. They were fine when installed. Doctor is telling me that one of those two teeth have shifted due to me grinding. I spent over 12k with him on crowns, fillings, cleanings and more. Can grinding really cause shift on one tooth. I’ve never had this problem of shifting in my entire life until now. Should I ask the doctor if he didn’t install teeth right. Or is it really possible to gap one tooth. ??

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