Your smile is often the first thing that people notice about you, so as soon as you encounter a problem with your teeth, it’s often in your best interest to address it! One common problem that people experience is their teeth shifting; your pearly whites are stubborn and sometimes move around on their own accord! But what causes this sort of movement, and is there anything that can be done to address it? Here’s what your dentist in Danville wants you to know about shifting teeth, and how solutions such as Invisalign can usually correct the issue.
5 Explanations for Shifting Teeth
There are many things that can cause your teeth to shift, but five of the most common explanations include:
- Natural aging – As you grow older, your body undergoes several changes, many of them occurring inside of your mouth. Over time, the ligaments and tissues composing the jaw muscles grow weak, causing your teeth to loosen. Your lips also contract as you age, which creates pressure on the exterior of your bite and gradually pushes your teeth inward. Even the mineral content in bones throughout the body decreases over time, reducing jawbone density and causing teeth to move.
- Bruxism (tooth grinding) – This condition is characterized by the grinding and clenching of teeth, usually without the patient’s realization (it often happens at nighttime). This grinding can lead to bite misalignment, enamel reduction, and even changes to the shape of your teeth—and if left untreated, it can progress into a debilitating TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.
- Tongue thrust – Your tongue can also play a part in moving your teeth! Tongue thrust, also called reverse swallow, happens when you involuntarily push your tongue forward against your teeth. It can happen while speaking, swallowing, or even while you’re asleep. This force of pressure can gradually create a gap between the upper and lower teeth.
- Gum disease – If gum disease is allowed to advance into periodontitis, it can completely obliterate your gum tissue and bone matter. This can result in tooth movement, as well as painful oral infections that result in total tooth loss.
- Dental trauma – Sustaining a blow to the face or mouth can cause many different issues. Sometimes these injuries can partially extrude a tooth, which means the tooth is still attached but has been shifted out of place. Other times, the tooth can become entirely displaced.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Tooth movement is difficult to detect with the naked eye, so it’s going to take the help of your dentist to determine how much your teeth have shifted and what needs to be done to correct the issue, as it’s not something that will clear up on its own. That said, many patients opt for either traditional braces or clear aligner solutions such as Invisalign to correct their teeth. These aligners have become widely popular due to their discreteness and convenience. They work by gradually shifting your teeth into a straighter position over the course of several months. Porcelain veneers can also be bonded to the outer surfaces of shifted teeth to give them a straighter, more uniform appearance.
The best solution for correcting teeth that have shifted will be your provider’s call, but it is absolutely possible.
About the Practice
The team at Danville Dental Associates is honored to serve patients and families in the Danville and Chatham areas. They’re proud to offer a wide range of services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative options. If you have any questions or concerns about shifting teeth or would like to arrange a visit, please contact the practice online to find a location near you.