Have your teeth moved or shifted from their previous positions? You may have noticed that your teeth feel different or that they look different when you smile in the mirror. This may happen for a wide variety of reasons.
If your teeth are shifting or have shifted, here are some of the potential causes and what the next steps should be.
Causes of Shifting Teeth
There are a number of potential reasons your teeth may be shifting:
- Gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. It is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth at or below the gumline. Chronic, untreated gum disease can cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, leaving them unsupported. The teeth may become loose and shift out of their usual position. Seek treatment for gum disease from your general dentist or a periodontist who can stabilize the teeth while the gum tissue heals.
- Lost or extracted teeth. If a tooth falls out or is extracted without being replaced, it leaves an empty space in your jaw. The other teeth may shift out of place in the absence of that tooth. A missing tooth should be replaced with a bridge or a dental implant before the other teeth start to shift out of place. You may need treatment from a dentist and possibly also an orthodontist who can help shift your teeth back to the correct position.
- Orthodontic treatment. If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment your teeth are shifting because they are supposed to. Braces and other orthodontic appliances are designed to shift your teeth into proper alignment. Movement of the teeth is the ultimate goal and there is nothing to be concerned about.
- Growth. Children and teenagers are still growing and developing. Shifting teeth may be the result of growth of your jaw and facial structures. Orthodontic treatment may be required at various times throughout a child’s life as they grow and develop. This helps align the teeth and bite properly for chewing and optimal dental health.
- Not wearing retainers. If you have had orthodontic treatment and you’ve been instructed to wear retainers for a specified period of time, it is very important that you do so. Not wearing your retainers can allow your teeth to shift back to their original position, undoing months or even years of orthodontic treatment.
Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontists treat children and teenagers primarily, but they also treat adults. Many adults seek orthodontic treatment later in life for a variety of reasons. Some adults never had the opportunity to get braces when they were younger and now they want to make the necessary improvements in their dental health and smile. In other cases, adults who had orthodontic treatment when they were younger may have stopped wearing their retainers and now their teeth have shifted out of place. Whatever the reason that you are seeking adult treatment, rest assured that you are never too old to make positive changes in your dental health and appearance.
Dr. Suzanne Stock Provides Treatment for Shifting Teeth
If your teeth have shifted and you’re not sure why, Dr. Suzanne Stock can perform an evaluation to determine the cause. After assessing the problem, we can design a treatment plan that will shift your teeth into proper alignment and transform your smile.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment at one of our 4 convenient locations.