Why Are My Teeth Moving? | Teeth Migration Explained

March 27th, 2023

What Is Tooth Migration and Why My Teeth Are Moving

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Have you ever noticed your teeth moving? It can be an unnerving experience but is it normal? What causes it? Should you be alarmed by it? Do you need surgery to collect it?

Let’s find out.

Teeth migration: What is it?

Let’s start with what it is. As we age, it’s not uncommon to notice changes in the alignment of our teeth. Even if you had braces as a child, your teeth can still shift over time, causing crowding, gaps, or other orthodontic issues. This is because our bones and connective tissues lose density and elasticity over time, which can cause the teeth to move. This is what’s commonly known as tooth migration.

So what causes tooth migration?

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, age, gum disease, injury, and even daily habits like clenching or grinding your teeth. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common causes of tooth migration.

1. Genetics

Some people are simply born with teeth that are more prone to shifting, while others have a genetic predisposition to certain orthodontic issues like overbites or underbites. If you have a family history of tooth migration or other orthodontic problems, you may be more likely to experience these issues yourself.

2. Age

As we get older, our teeth can start to shift naturally. This is because our bones and gums tend to shrink and recede over time, creating less support for our teeth.

3. Gum disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause a whole host of oral health problems, including tooth loss and tooth migration. When gums become inflamed and infected, they can start to pull away from the teeth causing teeth movement.

4. Injury

Trauma to the mouth, such as a blow to the face, can cause teeth to move or even become loose. Common reasons for this happening include being in a traffic accident, falling over and fighting.

5. Bruxism

This is the technical term for saying that you grind your teeth. Teeth grinding and clenching, either as a nervous habit or involuntarily while you sleep, can cause excessive pressure on the teeth, leading to tooth movement over time.

6. Missing teeth

When a tooth is missing, the remaining teeth don’t have any support to keep them pointing vertically and can shift to fill the gap. This can cause misalignment of the teeth and, potentially, more serious problems.

7. Bad habits

Biting your nails, chewing pen tops, opening bottles with your teeth, sucking your thumb; these are all classic reasons for your teeth migrating.

8. Orthodontic treatment

In some extreme cases, orthodontic treatment can cause tooth movement. While this is a desired outcome of many orthodontic treatments, it can cause relapse if proper retention isn’t maintained.

My teeth move – do I need to have them realigned?

Remember, a small amount of tooth movement is perfectly normal and doesn’t require any treatment at all. However, if your teeth are moving significantly or causing other dental problems such as not being able to bite properly, it’s important to see a dentist for evaluation and possible treatment.

Treatment could be something as simple as a brace or clear aligners to try and straighten up the teeth, or more invasive solutions like dental implants or bridges to replace missing teeth and prevent further movement.

Still concerned? Speak to Yorkshire Dental Suite!

If this blog hasn’t put your mind at ease then the team at YDS will be happy to speak with you. We’re the highest-rated dentist in the UK, and, as members of the fair price charter, can pretty much guarantee that if you do need treatment to address your tooth migration issues then you’ll find it affordable. Speak to the team today and put those tooth migration worries to rest.

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