What Causes Teeth to Shift in Adults?

If you suspect your teeth are moving and you’re wondering what causes teeth to shift in adults, you’re not alone. There are a whole range of factors that can cause teeth to move as we age. Some of these facts are preventable, and others are only manageable with intervention to correct misalignment.

Being unhappy with your teeth shifting over time is understandable – the way our teeth look when we smile has a big impact on our confidence and self-esteem. At EZ Smile, it’s our mission to realign teeth that have shifted without the usual hassle and cost of monthly in-person appointments. We offer state of the art assessments and treatment options that are available from the comfort of your home.

Understanding why your teeth might be starting to shift over time will give you a good grasp on what options are available to prevent or reverse any changes you’re noticing. Keep reading to find out what factors cause teeth to shift, how you can reverse these changes, and how you can prevent your teeth from moving in the future.

What Causes Teeth to Shift in Adults?

Is it possible for your teeth to shift, even if you’re well into adulthood? The answer is yes – teeth move throughout our lives and don’t stop when we reach our adult years. There are a whole host of factors that can cause teeth to move position, even if you steer clear of injury or serious dental work. Some of the most common factors causing teeth to move position are:

1. Jawbone Growth

A recent study by plastic surgeons at the University of Rochester Medical Centre found that the angle of the jaw increased significantly with age. Not only does the change in angle affect the way we look, but it also affects the position of our teeth. As the jaw continues to grow forward and becomes narrower, our lower teeth tend to become more crowded. Crowded lower teeth necessarily affect our bite and possibly the position of our upper teeth too.

2. Periodontitis

Persistent gum disease, or periodontitis, causes gums to recede and the loss of the boney structure supporting our teeth. In severe cases, this can cause teeth to become loose and shift their position.

3. Bruxism

More commonly known as grinding, nocturnal bruxism generates pressure on the teeth from back-and-forth friction or clenching motions. These movements cause tooth structure to be worn away and can be forceful enough to cause some teeth to shift positions.

4. Extractions

After a tooth has been removed, the surrounding teeth will, generally, over time start moving into the available space. This may not be an issue when wisdom teeth are extracted as they’re not surrounded on both sides. The best way to stop teeth shifting after a tooth has been pulled is by preserving the space with an implant or bridge.

5. General Pressures

Every time we eat, speak, cough, laugh, sneeze, or breathe we exert pressure on our teeth. Teeth will naturally shift slightly throughout our life as they absorb our everyday stresses and expressions.

My Teeth Are Starting to Shift, What Can I Do?

If you look in the mirror and think: “My teeth are starting to shift!” there are options available to halt, or even reverse the process. As well as maintaining good oral hygiene to maintain long-term gum health, you can opt to straighten your teeth with clear aligners before too much movement has occurred.

Minor corrections and straightening with clear aligners are achievable with a series of plates designed to slowly move your teeth back into ideal alignment. Even if you’ve previously had treatment to straighten your teeth, this doesn’t mean they’ll stay in place forever. At EZ Smile, we recommend you continue wearing your retainers for as long as possible following your treatment, to prevent further movement.

How Clear Aligners Work to Correct Teeth Shifting

Clear aligners work to straighten teeth by exerting consistent, mild pressure on your teeth via a series of aligner trays that are worn over the prescribed course of treatment. So, what causes teeth to shift in adults can effectively be reversed using this method to return your teeth to their most ideal position.

The first step is to complete the free 30-second assessment online to see if you’re a good candidate for EZ Smile teeth straightening. After that, we’ll create a straightening plan by taking a closer look at your teeth. You can book a 3D scan at one of our centres, or you can order an impression kit and take moulds yourself at home. Once our team have made a personalised straightening plan for you, you’ll be able to see how long treatment will take and how many sets of aligners you’ll need to achieve your desired outcome.

During the course of treatment, you’ll receive a new set of aligners every two weeks. Aligners need to be worn for around 22 hours each day. Each new set will make minor changes to your teeth until they’re all in ideal alignment. Once your treatment is finished the all-important step of maintaining your new smile starts. This step is often overlooked but is vitally important to keep your teeth where you want them long term.

How to Stop Your Teeth Shifting

Moving your teeth into their correct alignment with EZ Smile usually takes between 4-8 months and involves controlled pressure being applied to shift your teeth. Once that controlled pressure ceases, the teeth often shift again ever so slightly as they settle into their new position. The best thing you can do to prevent any major movements is to wear your retainers every night. Teeth will continue to move over time, so wearing your retainers at night is the only effective way to prevent this from occurring. The last thing you want is to be back at square one after spending time and money straightening your teeth.

We recommend you view maintenance of your new smile as a part of your treatment and once your active treatment is over, we will provide a set of retainers for night-time wear free of charge. Maintaining good oral hygiene once your active treatment is over is also important to preserve your new smile. Gum disease and decay are both contributing factors to teeth moving, so by keeping inflammation at bay you can prolong the life of your teeth.

Straightening Your Teeth with EZ Smile

Straightening your teeth takes time, money, and effort so it’s worth preserving your results for as long as possible by wearing your retainer each night. Answering the question of: “what causes teeth to shift in adults?” highlights the fact that if we don’t actively maintain the results we achieve, they’re not likely to last long-term.

EZ Smile’s treatments provide a simple and effective way of correcting any minor tooth shifting that’s occurred before major movements take hold. Our treatment plans are just a fraction of the cost of traditional straightening, starting at just $2499.

Stop any shifting from progressing and get the smile of your dreams by completing our free 30-second assessment today.