It’s not easy to notice that your teeth are shifting on a day-to-day basis since the movement often happens slowly. But one day you may look at yourself and realize that your teeth look different than they have in the past. Or maybe you can feel with your tongue a tooth that has moved to a slightly different place. Here are some of the reasons why your teeth may be shifting.
The Simple Passage of Time
You might not want to hear it, but it’s true – our teeth are always moving. As we age, it’s normal for our teeth to shift because of normal wear and tear, our jaw changing shape, and other factors. Even if you don’t have any dental injuries, have never received orthodontic care, and you don’t have bruxism (teeth grinding), your teeth can still move, even if it’s on a very small level.
Our teeth can be stubborn. After an orthodontic treatment like aligner therapy or braces, our teeth may want to move back into their old, natural positions. That’s something you definitely don’t want to happen after investing time and money to straighten them! That’s why it’s so important to wear the retainers your dentist gives you on a regular basis once your treatment is complete.
Most of the time the reason that teeth shift is because of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. This can happen in the daytime but most commonly happens at night when you are unaware of it. During an examination, Dr. Chittajallu can tell from the wear on your teeth if you have bruxism. The way to protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding and from unwanted shifting is to get a custom-fitted nightguard.
A Missing Tooth
You might have had a tooth extracted due to an infection or because it was a wisdom tooth that wasn’t coming in properly. You may have lost a tooth because of some kind of dental trauma. When there’s a gap in your smile, the teeth surrounding that space can shift into the open area.
Family Dental Care in Austin, TX
If you want help managing the movement of your teeth, call us at Southwest Smiles in Austin. We can take a look to see what’s causing your teeth to shift and make recommendations to protect your smile and oral health.