People usually don’t pay attention to their teeth until they notice significant changes — a change in color, size, and most noticeably, position. Many patients come to dental clinics, telling dentists that their teeth aren’t in the same place like before. This is usually not a cause of concern for kids, given that they’re at a growth phase, but for full-grown adults, it’s a real trigger for anxiety. Why exactly do teeth shift out of place? Here are possible reasons behind that:

1. Aging

It’s no surprise that your teeth are moving, precisely because they’re designed that way. The teeth have a movement mechanism to maintain correct alignment.

As you age, this is calibrated to your bite. Shifting is normal. A problem only occurs when even just one tooth isn’t correctly lined with the others. As the teeth naturally move, this pressure affects and re-orients the over-all alignment. You also have to understand that the area between your teeth begins to disappear as you get older. While this occurs, the protective layer of the tooth wears away as well, causing a change in its shape.

The lower teeth are naturally thinner than the upper teeth, so they tend to wear quicker. When the lower and upper teeth come into contact, the former won’t be able to bear the pressure from the latter and could trigger further teeth movement.

2. Bruxism

Woman grinding her teethThis is the medical term for teeth grinding. According to orthodontists and other Delano, CA-based practitioners, this habit causes the teeth to move since it pushes the lower jaw forward and adds unnecessary strain on the upper teeth. Over time, this affects the upper arch position, forcing the teeth out of its normal place.

Bruxism is caused by many factors. For one, those who already have crooked teeth are prone to this condition. This is why it is never just a cosmetic problem you can ignore. Consult an orthodontist immediately for a treatment plan.

Don’t worry, though, since this doesn’t mean being a metal mouth for years. There are many braces options today, which does little to no change to facial appearance. Another factor that contributes to bruxism is stress. If such is your case, consult a doctor how you can manage stress in a healthier manner.

3. Tooth Loss

When a tooth goes missing, the teeth will naturally move to fill that empty space. That’s why dentists highly recommend getting implants or bridges to address the missing tooth. Of course, prevention is always better than cure. You can avoid losing teeth by practicing good hygiene basics: brushing teeth after meals, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly.

If you have a smoking habit, quit it. It doesn’t just harm your oral health, but also lower your chances of successful medical interventions for tooth loss later. Ask your dentist for smoking cessation programs.

Teeth movements are a real cause of concern for many. If you notice a change in your teeth’s position, go to a dental clinic immediately. Remember, the sooner a dentist learns about your condition, the earlier you can get the treatment you need.