The body goes through natural changes over time, but one thing that should not change is the positioning of the teeth. However, teeth shifting can occur for various reasons. In this blog post, we explore a few of those reasons and discuss how Invisalign may be able to help you regain a well-aligned smile.
Teeth serve as placeholders for one another. When you have all of your natural teeth, they prevent each other from drifting out of their proper positions. Unfortunately, when a tooth is lost, the ones near it can begin to drift into the empty space. A tooth above an empty space may even over-erupt to the point where it has to be extracted, leading to further misalignment.
Gum disease starts out in the soft tissues around the teeth, but it can eventually work its way into the jawbone, destroying the tissue that holds the teeth in their positions. As a result, the teeth may begin to feel loose and drift out of place.
Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) places extended pressure on the teeth. Not only can this wear down the tooth enamel, but it can lead to other consequences as well, such as changes in the way the upper and lower teeth work together. Many people do not realize that they grind their teeth because they do so only during sleep. Hence, they may be puzzled when they begin to notice that their bite has shifted.
Many parts of the human body tend to weaken with age, and those that surround the teeth are no exception. The ligaments and muscles around the jaw and teeth can change, leading to shifts in a person’s bite and alterations to the positioning of their teeth. Additionally, osteoporosis is more common in older individuals. This bone disease can weaken the jaw to the point where the teeth begin to shift out of place.
Tongue thrust is a condition characterized by the tongue resting too far forward in the mouth. It may be caused by tongue tie or occur for other reasons. The tongue can place pressure on the teeth, gradually causing them to move out of their proper positions.
What You Can Do
If you feel that your teeth have shifted, talk to your dentist about your concerns. In some cases, a treatment like Invisalign clear aligners is all that is necessary to correct the problem. Invisalign can apply gentle pressure to the teeth to move them back where they belong. Of course, if you are suffering from gum disease or teeth grinding, such issues will need to be addressed before orthodontic treatment can begin.
Shifting teeth can have a number of causes. Fortunately, your dentist is ready to help you get your smile back on track!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. James J. Kalina is an experienced general dentist in Mankato who offers Invisalign and a range of other services. If you are concerned about shifting teeth, he would be pleased to assess the situation and recommend your next steps. Contact our office at 507-625-2021.