Why Do My Teeth Shift? Explaining The Basics & What You Can Do About It

If you’re an adult and your teeth are shifting, this isn’t normal, and you should probably see the team at Great Bay Orthodontics for an appointment right away. Wondering why your teeth may be moving, and how concerned you should be about this issue? Read on and get the basics about why your teeth may be shifting, and what you can do to restore your oral health. 

Children’s Teeth Shift Naturally As They Grow

First, let’s discuss the basics of teeth shifting. In kids, some amount of teeth shifting is completely normal. As their baby teeth fall out, their jaws grow and develop, and their adult teeth begin to emerge, their teeth must naturally shift to accommodate their oral development.

So if you’ve noticed that your child’s teeth are shifting, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. As long as their teeth look relatively straight and healthy, it’s okay for them to move around, and this is to be expected.

In fact, this is why orthodontic treatment is usually recommended when kids are younger, at the age of 12-13. At this time, their jaws and teeth are still not fully developed, and they can shift and move more easily compared to adults.

Adult Teeth Are Not Meant To Shift 

Once you become an adult, your teeth are not meant to shift, and unless you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, teeth shifting is abnormal. You should see a dentist and get to the bottom of the issue right away to protect your oral health. 

Why Are My Teeth Shifting As An Adult? What Can I Do About It?

There are a few reasons your teeth may shift as an adult. Some are more serious than others, but as a rule, you should definitely see a dentist if you think your teeth are shifting, no matter the reason. 

  • Tooth loss – If you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth will usually shift toward the empty socket to try to fill the gap in your smile. The best way to prevent this is by replacing the tooth with a dental implant, dental bridge, or partial denture.

  • Gum disease – Serious cases of gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen, shift, and move. The best way to treat this issue is to get professional periodontal care from a dentist. Cleanings and surgery may be required to keep your teeth in place and restore your oral health.

  • Failing to wear a retainer after orthodontic treatment – If you’ve gotten braces or Invisalign and you don’t wear your retainer after treatment, your teeth will shift toward their original positions. Make sure you wear your retainer after treatment, or consider permanent retainers.

  • Teeth grinding – Serious teeth grinding (bruxism) can damage the teeth and cause them to shift over time. If you think you grind your teeth at night, a plastic nightguard is usually the best way to address this issue. The nightguard will cushion and protect your teeth. 

See A Dentist If Your Teeth Are Shifting As An Adult – It May Be A Serious Issue! 

Unless you’re actively receiving orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign, your teeth should not be shifting as an adult. And if they are, you should schedule a consultation at Great Bay Orthodontics today. Dr. Walsh can diagnose the issue and determine the best steps for restoring your oral health. Contact us online or call us at (603) 318-2602 to get started.

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