Are Your Teeth Moving?

During your late twenties, your teeth may start to shift due to subtle tooth growth, which impacts tooth alignment. It's natural for the teeth to gradually shift, even if you had braces as a teenager.

This happens mainly because of heredity, wisdom teeth (the growth can make teeth overlap in the front of the mouth), or even teeth that are lost prematurely due to extractions. This causes malposition of adjoining teeth and shifts their positions, which has the same effect as removing a block out of an arch: over time the entire arch collapses. Changes in how your tongue rests against your teeth and in your bite can also cause your teeth to shift.

Orthodontics, Invisalign, cosmetic dentistry and bridge work can help correct shifting teeth. It's important to address shifting teeth, since extra spaces can form where food particles can get caught and cause tooth decay and gum disease.

If your teeth have shifted and are also chipped and discolored, composite resin bonding, veneers or crowns over the damaged teeth can make a significant difference.
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WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Guy M. Lewis
Cosmetic Dentist - Houston (The Woodlands), TX
Teeth that have shifted can make it hard to keep your teeth clean and can cause more problems in the future with decay and may be the cause of grinding. Crooked/worn down teeth can age a person and it is true that facial plastic surgery will give you a more youthful appearance. However, straighter, many people don not realize that whiter teeth can take take years off of a person, especially if crowns are done to open your bite. We call it the Smile-Lift. When considering cosmetic dentistry it is very important to not only research the procedure but also the Dentist. Credentials and training are very important to consider and will help with your final decision.
Posted February 12, 2013 1:31 PM EST
1
Joel
I had an accident a few years ago, and had to get three teeth removed, two behind one canine and on behind the other, nothing has ever filled in these gaps, but now my canines are moving back and my front teeth are moving forward! Why?
Posted February 01, 2013 12:00 AM EST
2
jj
It has been 13 years since braces and now im in the same pain.. it hurts! Help please
Posted January 15, 2013 9:05 PM EST
3
KNM
I have had my braces off for 4 years and my retainer just broke. I do not have the money to get a new one because I am going to have my wisdom teeth removed because they are impacted. Should I be worried about my teeth shifting drastically without a retainer?
Posted November 13, 2012 9:27 PM EST
4
brokensmile
I have always had crooked teeth, but they were almost a "cute" crooked, it was so faint it didnt ever bother me. Years later in my mid 20's, my teeth have drastically shifted, and are very crooked. Also two of my teeth near the front are loose, which terrifies me. I cannot afford to pay full out of pocket, being a student and mother at the time, but I really need help. Does anyone know of a dentist in central FL that is willing to do payment plans with no credit? My teeth make me depressed, and I am now not very confident in myself like I use to be.
Posted October 10, 2012 11:08 PM EDT
5
melaine
I wore braces during my teenage years which made my teeth almost perfectly straight. Now in my 30's my front teeth have moved, causing the teeth to overlap in front. I am worried that this could worsen. What can be done to stop this and straighten the teeth again?
Posted October 04, 2012 10:10 AM EDT
6
anonymous
Recently, I went to my dentist for bridgework. I had a crown put in the lower right back tooth two years prior, and just recently, the next tooth over had the problems. The tooth next to that one was extracted last year and the tooth one over was fine, so, my dentist decided to bridge it. The problem now is that the next tooth over is collapsing and that one was fine before any of the bridgework started. I'm getting my bridge finalized tomorrow and I just hope he can fix it somehow.Has anyone else had this type of problem, or, is this common and is it fixable the day bridgework is finalized?
Posted July 23, 2012 7:03 AM EDT
7
anonymous
God gave me one thing i was happy with and that was a perfect smile, i have always been very lucky to have had perfectly straight white teeth despite not taking adequate care of them in my teens. A little bit of stress came in my late 20's and i think i started clenching/grinding, as soon as i noticed shifting i went to the dentist and got a mouthguard. Waste of money for me personally, they continued to shift and within 1 year the front teeth have to be 3mm out from where they were, i got gingivitis (never had before) and they now have dirty marks which are visible not to mention the amount of cracks in them you can see. Add TMJ to the mix caused by my now off bite i think. Im getting a fixed brace fitted soon to correct them but i visited the dentist every 3 months, went to a hygienist and cleared the gingivitis up in 1 week, i take care of my teeth soooo well and am still having problems. No one can determine the cause. How rapidly my teeth deteriorated after starting to shift is mad to me so i would urge anyone who is having a change in there bite to get is sorted ASAP. Not one dentist/orthodontist mentioned to me i had gingivitis, within 3 seconds of sitting in the hygienist chair he said i had it. So people i always assumed a dentist was a mouth specialist, apparently they are only teeth specialists and if you want to know if you have anything gumwise see a hygienist i must have had ginginvitis for months before it got spotted and i saw my dentist about 3-4 times and 2 orthodontists in that period. My gums still burn daily despite no gingivitis and my jaw is wrecked. No professional can figure out whats causing it either. Also the orthodontists around and ive seen a couple make no guarantees about jaw, teeth etc, ive been told it may improve things but basically all im getting for my few grand is straight teeth to look at and if other symptoms improve at the same time then bonus for me.
Posted May 11, 2012 2:11 AM EDT
8
anonymous
I notice that it is a very common problem for most people to have crooked teeth due to overcrowding. My problem is that my teeth are shifting, but not as most people experience. The gap between my 2 upper front teeth is getting bigger. I have a deep bite too. So what do you suggest?
Posted May 09, 2012 4:32 AM EDT
9
Suzy
I had a very rough dental cleaning and now all of my teeth are shifting building plaque and they never did that. I brush 3 times per day and floss nightly. During the cleaning she used the polisher like a drumel and filed all sides thin and scrapped my crowns and metal fillings. She chipped some of my teeth with the metal part of polisher. I went to dentist 4x per year on hygienists recommendation. Dentist checked only after the 6 month intervals. Well I should have called him in as when iI went in June he didn't like what he saw but would not help me said it was. Excuse he said I was pre diabetic I was having the sensitivity and craze lines. Saw another dentist she said I look like I got hit in mouth with a baseball. I had pre diabetes controlled by diet. I went back to him and he wanted to wait. I had work down at another place as all my fillings cracked and had 8 repaired and now all my teeth are sensitive all the time to even my lips placed against them. I cannot eat many foods, cannot chew, drinks are gritty. Water room Temperature hurts, cannot kiss, face is swollen and red. I look like a monster and have been having hair loss. Teeth shifting upper molars hitting cheeks,both molars going inwards, front teeth jutting forward and overlapping. Severe pain. What shall I do? Saw a holistic dentist and measured for mercury 24 the machine read. Did blood and hair tests that confirm other toxins. Force myself to eat. Teeth. Dry thin and sharp. She says a have a jaw cavitation and wants to take out. The rest of the fillings. But my concern is the whole pain in the teeth eithout gilling and the receding of gums. What shall I do?
Posted January 22, 2012 5:05 AM EST
10
Seneca
Hi,I'm extrememly worried because all my teeth seem to move or "click" in a way when I push my tongue up against them. I wouldn't say that they're wiggling yet, but I can feel them move in their place. I have good dental hygiene, always brushing/flossing/rinsing. It can't be gum disease because my gums never bleed and they are a healthy pink color. However, I have a real problem with Bruxism. I bought a flimsy mouth guard from the dollar store just to prevent damage but turns out my jaw is so active at night that it has pushed pressure against my teeth anyway since the guard is so flexible. Anyway, I am petrified that I'll lose my teeth... The majority of them shift in place so I'm nervous. I'm only 18 so I really do not want dentures! Please help me with an answer that will not tell me I am sure to loose them..like the rest of the internet has.Thank you!!!
Posted December 23, 2011 4:25 AM EST
11
masmith07
Hello,I have crooked / overlapped teeth in the front, due to wisdom and/or not losing baby teeth in time. My teeth are in good health now, and the wisdoms don't bother me. I just had one last major extraction, so I have a space on either side of my mouth, upper back. I wonder if its possible that my teeth might spread out a little bit over a long period of time. I'm in my mid 30s.
Posted December 08, 2011 8:54 AM EST
12
Shannon
After I had my braces removed in my late teens,I noticed my teeth shifting. Now that I am 30 I've noticed major differences. My lower teeth are over crowded making my left canine stick out further. My jaw pops when I chew, yawn, talk, it's nonstop. Also, I can't pucker my lips like I use to when giving a kiss and my once "ear to ear" is visibly different. I look like I've had a stroke on one side of my mouth and have not. I wake up with headaches and sometimes have them all day long and wonder if this could be related. What can I do? Please help! While my smile has never been the brightest, I always got complimented on how pretty it was and now I don't feel like myself!
Posted December 26, 2010 5:02 PM EST
13
acteethquestion
I recently had a back molar re-filled with a composite filling. The dentist was somewhat hurried in finishing the filling and as a result left a large amount of cement/ adhesive in between the molar and the tooth in front of it. I went back to the dentist and he polished down in between the teeth because I could feel something still stuck in between the teeth. This entire process went on for almost 2 weeks as I experienced lots of pain on the tooth that was re-filled. Now, I am concerned about shifting in my front lower teeth. I did have braces as a teenager but now I am in my late 20's and I see that one tooth on the left side of the row of the four bottom teeth is really moving backwards and there is some overlapping there. I was concerned that this filling situation excacerbated the movement by putting the pressure on those teeth and further causing that tooth to move. Is that possible in a short time? I think there were also issues with my bite being off after the filling. What should I do next? Make an appointment with an orthodontist?
Posted November 09, 2010 6:48 AM EST
14
WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Jenifer Back
Cosmetic Dentist - Sarasota, FL
Another reason teeth begin to shift can be teeth clenching and grinding. Excessive non-functional forces (really any pressure on your teeth other than chewing) can cause tooth wear and tooth position change. Your dentist may want to address the cause of the changes as well as the appearance. Many dentists recommend guards to protect your teeth from moving, wear and chipping. If you are beginning to notice minor changes in tooth position see your dentist before problems arise to prevent need for additional treatment.
Posted October 11, 2010 4:54 PM EDT
15
UMcane07
In following up my last question. I am generally happy with my smile. But my two fron upper teeth overlap slightly to where it is not noticeable to others but bothers me a bit. What besides invisalign (which is costly) can be done for that?
Posted October 11, 2010 11:41 AM EDT
16
UMcane07
wow...that is crazy. I have heard all my life that the wisdom teeth create crowding in the mouth. Very interesting!!!
Posted October 08, 2010 8:04 AM EDT
17
Dr. Bob Perkins
UMcane07- Having wisdom teeth removed will not affect changes in the front teeth. That is a myth. Wisdom teeth do not cause crowding of the front teeth. The removal of wisdom teeth will not provoke any changes to the front teeth, either. There are lots of causes of crowding but that is not one of them.
Posted October 06, 2010 10:56 PM EDT
18
UMcane07
I recently had my remaining (3) wisdom teeth extracted. How long will it take for my front teeth to move and adjust to the new space?
Posted September 25, 2010 5:29 PM EDT
19
WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Laurence Rifkin
Cosmetic Dentist - Beverly Hills, CA
One of the overlooked problems with shifting and crooked teeth is the resulting difficulty to clean your teeth properly when they are overlapped. This overlapping causes greater food trapping which will remain to feed bacteria and cause decay, gum, periodontal and systemic disease as well as bad breath. Flossing becomes almost impossible to perform and especially the lower front teeth develop more tartar or calculus between them and on the inside area next to the tongue. The aesthetic problems are obvious with crooked teeth and get worse with gum recession. Of course the bite can also become a problem too. Crooked lower front or upper front teeth also increase the frequency of chipping of the front teeth from the uneven pressures and banging of the teeth during chewing and bruxing. Often, minor short term orthodontics of three to six months with a removable appliance can help you achieve health and aesthetics in the most conservative and often least costly treatment option. Not every case can be treated this way though. Many of my patients have benefitted with this conservative treatment. Check with your dentist and orthodontist for the best overall treatment option for your specific problem.
Posted September 24, 2010 11:47 PM EDT
20
Dr. Bob Perkins
Whitney- If your lower front teeth have started to shift then you will need some "active" means to straighten them. A retainer is, by definition, something that retains teeth and doesn't move them. It holds them in place and prevents movement. It is very likely that you would need braces of some kind or possibly invisalign. You might want to look into short term braces. I do a great deal of short term orthodontic procedures in my office using clear brackets. Most all of my cases can be done in six months or less, some in only a couple of months. If you don't live in the Los Angeles area you might want to go the website www.6monthsmiles.com and find a dentist who does this procedure in your area. The results are quite remarkable and ......fast.
Posted September 24, 2010 10:06 PM EDT
21
Whitney
I had braces when I was in high school and I am noticing my front lower teeth are starting to shift and crowd each other, will a new fitted retainer do the job to get them back in place or will I have to do braces again or invisalign?
Posted September 20, 2010 6:03 AM EDT
22
Drs. Joe Willardsen & Clark E. Cressman
As the article stated maintaining straight teeth with actually help the health of your teeth and gum tissue. In addition to this crowded, stained, chipped teeth are often a sign of age. Just as wrinkles and graying hair can make you look older, worn and crowded teeth will do the same. With proper bite management and the right bite the teeth will wear evenly and be less likely to move around as you get older. Straight teeth with the correct bite will also alleviate many TMJ symptoms such as headaches and neckaches.
Posted September 03, 2010 8:57 AM EDT
23

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