If you notice that your teeth shift over time, don't panic. Shifting teeth are actually quite normal, especially if you've had braces or any major dental procedures. Shifting teeth can happen for a number of reasons, most of which are related to the normal process of the mouth's natural changes over the years.
Your teeth may shift as a result of orthodontic treatment, your jaw changing, your teeth reverting after you get your braces off, dental implants or even tooth wear and tear. If it's necessary, shifting teeth can be corrected with clear aligners and other simple solutions from your orthodontist.
The Most Common Reasons for Shifting Teeth
If your teeth are shifting, it may be for one or more of the following reasons.
You've Undergone Dental Procedures
If you've had a tooth removed or gotten a dental implant, the rest of your teeth will naturally shift to compensate for the difference in your dental structure. Sometimes, remaining teeth will naturally try to close the gap when a tooth is removed, or crowding may occur when an implant puts pressure on adjacent teeth. A little bit of shifting is fine after a dental procedure, but significant change may require correction.
Your Lower Jaw Is Changing
Your lower jaw may also be the cause of your shifting teeth. You may experience:
Lower jaw growth: Your lower jaw continues to grow forward throughout your lifetime, which can cause your lower front teeth to bump into your upper teeth. You may notice crowding in your lower teeth when this happens.
Jaw shrinkage: As we get older, our jaws start to shrink inward slightly, which can result in crowding in the lower front teeth.
While many of these changes are natural, you may need retainers to keep your teeth from overcrowding.
You've Had Orthodontic Treatment
If you've had braces or similar orthodontic treatments, it's normal for your teeth to want to revert to their original or "natural" state. To prevent excessive shifting, you'll need to wear retainers for as long as your orthodontist requires. You may need clear aligners or similar products to correct teeth that have shifted significantly after orthodontic procedures.
You Have Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease refers to the inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding teeth, which can eventually lead to bone loss. If you have periodontal disease, you'll likely experience tooth shifting due to weakening teeth and/or bone loss.
You Grind Your Teeth
Many people grind their teeth in their sleep, which results in weakened enamel, bone loss and the shortening of teeth, causing potentially serious dental issues down the road. If this is happening to you, you'll likely require a nighttime bite guard to correct it.
Fix Shifting Teeth With Clear Aligners
If your teeth have shifted out of place since your orthodontic treatment or other procedures, we recommend that you try out clear aligners. These innovative treatment options are effective and easy to clean with our WhiteFoam aligner cleaner, an essential component of keeping your aligners — and your teeth and gums — germ-free. Contact us today if you have questions about our products!