Why Do Teeth Shift?

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Why Do Teeth Shift?

Did you know that your teeth could change positions after adolescence? Tooth movement or shifting is an issue that can affect you throughout life. Having straight teeth now doesn’t prevent you from problems with crooked or crowded teeth developing later on. If you think your teeth have changed position or shifted, it is best to speak with an orthodontist to prevent further problems from arising.

Reasons why teeth shift or move:

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, the shifting of teeth or movement is a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens throughout your life. However, following orthodontic treatment, it is very important to wear your retainers as prescribed, in order to prevent or minimize unwanted shifting of your teeth.

Based on the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, this natural migration of teeth throughout one’s life is often referred to as developmental shifting. There are many factors which can influence shifting of teeth over time, Some of these factors may include  teeth grinding, restorations or fillings, physiological changes relating to the aging process, tooth extraction etc.

Enamel loss caused by acid erosion or injury can also cause your teeth to move out of position and eventually affect your overall bite. This means that whenever your tooth shape changes, whether from grinding, traumatic injury, filling or enamel loss, your bite can slowly shift too.

Cavities and tooth decay that are left untreated can spread to your gums and bone. As a result they can shrink the bone that supports your teeth and helps to hold them in place, which can contribute to tooth loss. Missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift and contribute to collapse of the bite

Lastly, grinding teeth can also cause teeth to move out of their alignment. Grinding places excessive force on the teeth, which can contribute to loosening of teeth and ultimately undesirable shifting.

In some cases it is normal for teeth to shift. However, any concerns should be examined by an orthodontist, to prevent further problems from developing.

It is very important to retain and maintain your teeth and alignment of your teeth and bite by wearing retainers as directed by your orthodontist. The long-term stability of your smile requires long-term maintenance.

To learn more about why teeth shift or move, and how to prevent it, please contact our orthodontic office, York Mills Orthodontics, in North York.

-The York Mills Orthodontics Team

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