While most people wish they could have straight teeth all the time, many smiles can start to change over the years. But what exactly causes this to happen? Not only can this be frustrating or awkward in the long run, but it may also affect how well you can maintain your dental health. Read on to learn several reasons your teeth may be shifting and the treatments that can address the issue!
What Causes Shifting Teeth?
Although your body may change over time, your pearly whites are not typically meant to shift out of place. Since there could be an underlying issue that needs to be corrected, here are five causes of teeth shifting:
- Natural aging – As you get older, your ligaments, joints, and fibers in your jaw muscles may become weaker. This can impact the connective tissues holding your teeth in place, causing them to loosen or even move positions. In time, your bite can become misaligned and lead to more teeth shifting.
- Tooth loss – Whether this is due to an illness or injury, a missing tooth may cause any remaining ones to move out of place. This is because they’ll try to fill in the gap in your smile. Due to a lack of stimulation of blood flow in the jawbone, you may end up at a greater risk of further tooth loss as there may not be enough healthy bone tissue to maintain your surrounding teeth.
- Bruxism (tooth grinding) – If you tend to grind your teeth at night or when you’re asleep, then you may begin to notice slight shifting over time. This condition can also cause gradual damage to your enamel as well as change the structure of your smile.
- Tongue thrust – This is when you accidentally push your tongue against the back of your teeth while swallowing. With regular pressure, this can make them shift or even create a gap between the upper and lower parts of your smile.
- Gum disease – Periodontal disease, or gingivitis, can ruin your jawbone and gum tissue. If it’s left untreated and spreads throughout your mouth, it can weaken your teeth and lead to unintended movement. Not only can this affect them, but it can also negatively affect your overall health and increase your risk of more serious issues, like lung and heart disease.
How Can You Address Shifting Teeth?
You can typically fix teeth shifting with orthodontic treatment and veneers. Your dentist may be able to offer you Invisalign, which is one of the most popular and quickest ways to correct your bite. In around 12 to 18 months, you can straighten your smile and improve your dental health for many years to come. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that can conceal most dental flaws, including misaligned teeth. With this cosmetic treatment, you’ll be able to achieve your dream smile that can last 15 years or more with proper care.
If you’re noticing that your teeth are shifting, don’t hesitate to consult your dentist. They’ll be more than happy to assess your situation and determine which treatment would be best to help improve your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Robert Baima studied at the Marquette University School of Dentistry in Milwaukee. He also regularly seeks continuing education and is a member of the American Dental Association. He offers a wide selection of advanced treatments, including Invisalign and veneers. If you’d like to request an appointment, feel free to visit our website or call 847-350-1697.