It takes a lot of time, energy, money, and commitment to straighten your teeth and achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. In a perfect world, your straight teeth would last forever. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If you’re over the age of 40, there’s a good chance your teeth have moved. Even if you’ve had braces and taken great care of your oral health, there’s still no guarantee your teeth will remain straight. Let’s take a closer look at why this happens.
Gum disease is a serious condition that can shift your teeth out of place. That’s because your gums are one of the structures that support them. If they begin to break down, they will no longer be able to keep your teeth in place. Left untreated, gum disease can do more than shift your teeth. It can cause them to loosen or fall out.
Changes to Your Jaw Bone
Your lower jaw will play a huge role in the way your teeth move. As you get older, your lower jaw shifts forward and narrows. When this occurs, your teeth will probably shift. Firstly, when your lower jaw narrows, it causes your lower teeth to crowd together and overlap. Secondly, the jaw changes will also change your bite or the way your top and bottom teeth join. Over time, the adjusted pressure will add up and eventually cause your upper teeth to create gaps. Our Midlothian, VA dentist friends at River Run Dental Spa note that with age comes a number of changes with the jaw.
Teeth grinding and clenching are common habits that can cause your teeth to move. Here’s why: When you grind and clench your teeth, you’ll put pressure on them and shift them in a different direction. Since teeth grinding and clenching often occurs during sleep, you may be unaware you have this issue. If you notice a sore jaw or constant headache when you wake up (telltale signs of grinding and clenching), it’s a good idea to consult your orthodontist right away.
There are a number of reasons you may lose a tooth including cavities, injuries, and gum disease. When you lose a tooth, your teeth will have extra space and likely spread out and cause gaps. If you are experiencing tooth loss, your orthodontist will probably recommend spacers, implants, or retainers to keep the space open. Lakewood, Colorado Emergency Dentist Dr. Brian Levitin does his best to avoid tooth loss but sometimes it is inevitable.
Not Wearing a Retainer
Some people assume they’re orthodontic treatment ends when they get their braces off. This is not the case. If they don’t wear a retainer as directed by their orthodontist, they’re teeth will slowly but surely shift back into their original positions. So if you’re over 40 and skipped the retainer, there’s a good chance your teeth aren’t as straight as they used to be.
What to Do If Your Teeth Have Moved
If your teeth have shifted over time, it’s in your best interest to seek orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist can perform a thorough exam and pinpoint the cause of the movement. Then, they can design a customized treatment plan that may involve traditional metal braces or Invisalign. Their goal will be to address any underlying conditions and direct your teeth back to where you’d like them.
If you have further questions about teeth shifting after age 40, don’t hesitate to contact our office today at 804-884-9906. We look forward to hearing from you!