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Why Do Teeth Shift?


Considering that your teeth are securely attached to your jawbone, it seems impossible that they are capable of shifting around in your mouth without treatments such as braces. Research has shown there are various factors which may result in inadvertent movement of your teeth, and this shift may cause problems in your bite which may result in future issues.

Teeth are attached to your jaw by the outer layer of the root called “cementum” and ligaments called “periodontal ligaments”. The ligaments are made of collagen fibres which are strong yet flexible, hence they are subject to mobility.

Throughout life, the natural ageing process will cause some degree of tooth movement, however certain triggers and stresses may increase this, such as tooth clenching and grinding.

With age also increases the chances of a phenomenon called “mesial drift” which is the process whereby your teeth will slowly move towards the front of your jaws, causing them to appear as though they are tipped forwards. This is also more common in people who are missing a few teeth, as the gaps allow for mesial drift to occur without other teeth to stop this. This can often be a very serious problem as it may cause imbalances in your bite and make oral hygiene difficult, hence increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Additionally, factors such as tooth wear/erosion can also cause shifting in your teeth. The way this can occur is through loss of tooth structure, which alters the shapes of your teeth, and hence how the way your teeth bite together. Your periodontal ligaments and jaws will compensate for lost tooth structure through tooth shifting. By this same phenomenon, your teeth can also shift if you have a filling that doesn’t fit well with your bite, or by bruxism.

Crooked, misaligned and crowded teeth are also another big factor towards teeth shifting by virtue of causing a lot of plaque and bacteria build-up which can be difficult for you to clean off. Crooked teeth have an increased chance of gum disease, tooth decay as well as a high risk of tooth fracture due to an uneven bite, all of which in turn cause more tooth shifting.

Despite routine examinations and professional cleans from your dentist to ensure your teeth are healthy, teeth are expected to shift to a minor degree. The best way to PREVENT and CURE shifted teeth is through treatment from an orthodontist to correct the alignment of all of your teeth. Things you can do at home to reduce the effects of shifted teeth include: limiting acidic foods/drinks, practicing good oral hygiene through use of an electric toothbrush and Fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and flossing every morning and night prior to brushing.

Here at Smile Solutions, you have access to some of the best Dental Practitioners who are able to diagnose and treat your teeth with the utmost care and, if required, our host of board-registered specialists (including orthodontists) are able to detect and treat your shifting teeth.

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