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Teeth Shifting


Article by Dr. Rooz Khosravi

Photography by Stock Images

Teeth Shift 

Most of us notice that our teeth shift overtime. Wisdom teeth are often blamed for crooked teeth especially the front lower teeth. In fact, Remodeling of our jaws over time as we age is often the reason behind teeth shifting. Certain area of jaws have more significant changes. For example, changes around the bone in the front of lower jaw reduces the space for lower front teeth and results in crowding in these teeth. 

Other reasons leading to teeth shift are:

1) missing teeth 

2) periodontal disease and bone support loss 

3) abnormal growth of tongue 

4) habits 

5) unprofessional night guards or mouth guard

Tooth Loss

The forces between the tongue and muscles on the face keep the teeth in a balanced position. Losing a tooth or multiple teeth allows the surrounding teeth to tip into the empty space. A dental implant, a partial denture, or a retainer can be used to maintain the space of missing tooth or teeth. Adult molars are one of the first teeth in a child mouth and there is no replacing teeth for them. Poor oral hygiene (inconsistent brushing and flossing) during adolescence commonly leads to early loss of these teeth along with developing gum disease.  

Orthodontic Treatment 

Orthodontic care with conventional braces, Invisalign, or clear aligners are good solutions to straighten shifted teeth. Your orthodontist can optimize the spacing due to missing teeth, align the teeth and build a beautiful smile. Other dental professionals like dentists (DDS or DMD) also provide orthodontic treatment. You should consult with a few orthodontists near you even if you decided to pursue your orthodontic treatment at your local dentist.


Teeth are connected to the jawbones through a soft tissue called periodontal ligaments. Some of these ligaments are a tooth to its neighboring teeth. To prevent unfavorable tooth movement as you age, you need an orthodontic retainer. This is more importnat if you had orthodontia treatment done before. The clear retainers mostly build to cover upper teeth and lower teeth. Some have a combination of fixed wire and clear retainers on top of that. Orthodontic retainers can prevent shifting in your front teeth. 

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