Causes of Teeth Shifting

Were your teeth straight and suddenly you feel like they are shifting or moving slightly? Don't worry, this is completely normal. Teeth are very mobile and unfortunately can still move in adulthood, which can cause misalignment. If you notice that your teeth are slowly moving inwards, for example, do not wait and have the alignment of your teeth corrected, in order to avoid a long and complex treatment.

Migration of teeth in adulthood: at 30, 40, 50 or 60 years old

Many adults complain of their teeth suddenly shifting in the lower jaw. The causes of delayed tooth movement are sometimes very controversial. Crowding can be caused by wisdom teeth pressing on other teeth. However, any residual growth in the lower jaw can also cause teeth to shift with age. Another cause is the phenomenon known as physiological mesial drift. The back teeth naturally tend to move toward the center of the jaw. Indeed, the spaces between the teeth become narrower and narrower over time due to daily friction during eating, and the migration of the teeth aims to avoid the gaps. If a person eats a lot of soft foods, the migration may be stronger than the abrasion and the teeth become crowded.

After wearing braces (relapse)

If the teeth move again after wearing braces or other dental correction treatment, this is very annoying and leads many people to doubt the treatments. However, the teeth and jaw tend to return to their original position, depending on initial results. A phenomenon called recurrence describes the return to old structures or the reappearance of an abnormality that has already been treated. The more complex the misalignment or correction to be made, the greater the risk of recurrence. To prevent further movement of the teeth, retention after wearing braces is essential. To do this, we use either retaining gutters or permanent retaining gutters. These ensure that the teeth remain in the desired position and do not return to their old position.

Despite the use of a retention splint

Teeth can also become displaced if you grind your teeth or clench your jaw too hard. While grinding occurs during sleep, teeth clenching in most people is caused by stress or psychological distress. To prevent teeth from moving, in most cases the dentist recommends wearing an occlusal splint.

After wisdom teeth extraction

Even after wisdom teeth extraction, teeth may continue to move. This is caused by the presence of a new empty space in the jaw. This can start to cause individual teeth to move and thus lead to poor tooth position. Tooth migration can occur both after wisdom teeth have erupted and after their extraction. This should always be taken into account before dental treatment with conventional appliances or dental alignment with aligners.

Other causes

There can be many other reasons why teeth shift throughout life. If there are one or more free spaces in the jaw, other teeth may try to tilt or move toward these spaces.

In gum disease (periodontitis), the bones and gums recede, which can lead to loose teeth. Lack of fixation in the bone can also lead to tooth migration. Women are particularly vulnerable to gum disease after pregnancy and during menopause due to hormonal changes in the body and oral flora, which can lead to tooth shifting. In addition, accidents and injuries can cause teeth to mobilize and therefore move.

How to Prevent Teeth from Shifting