Imagine this: You wake up one day in your 50s, look in the mirror, and notice your teeth aren’t as straight as they were in your younger years. If you could relate to this scenario, know that you’re not alone. Unfortunately, our teeth do shift as we get older. So why does this happen? Keep reading to find out.
There are a variety of reasons your teeth may move after 50. Your teeth, just like other parts of your body, are susceptible to wear and tear as you get older. Genetics may also play a role in teeth shifting. If your family has a history of teeth moving with age, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise if your teeth move as well.
Gum disease is another common cause of tooth movement. This condition can weaken the gums, one of the structures that support your teeth and make them prone to shifting. Other causes include teeth grinding and clenching, injury, trauma, and not wearing your retainer after braces. Pregnancy and CPAP therapy for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders may also lead to teeth shifting.
How to Find Out If Your Teeth Are Shifting
Oftentimes, it will be obvious that your teeth have moved. In some cases, however, this may not be very clear. If you’re unsure, take a close look at your dental midline, which is the line between your two upper front teeth and your two lower front teeth. Normally, your top teeth sit directly over your bottom teeth. If your dental midline has shifted, your teeth have probably shifted as well. Additional symptoms of teeth shifting include:
- Bite Changes: If your teeth are hitting each other as you bite down, your teeth have likely moved.
- Puffy Gums or Bleeding: These are symptoms of gum disease that may lead to tooth movement.
How to Stop and Treat Teeth Shifting
If you believe your teeth have moved, it’s a good idea to visit your orthodontist. They can take x-rays and perform a thorough exam to pinpoint the cause. If your teeth movement is the result of a condition like gum disease, the first step will be to treat it. If it’s because of teeth grinding and clenching, your orthodontist will share tips on how you can stop this habit.
In the event your teeth movement is simply the result of the natural process of aging or genetics, they may recommend traditional metal braces or Invisalign right away. Regardless of the cause of your teeth shifting, it’s essential to continue to practice good oral hygiene after 50. The Richmond, VA Invisalign experts at River Run Dental are confident all age groups can benefit from the invisible aligners.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once daily, and visiting your dentist and orthodontist for routine checkups can help you catch oral issues early on, before they become more serious and difficult to treat. Also, avoid bad habits like smoking, chewing on ice and hard foods, and opening packages with your teeth.
As one ages, not only teeth shift; other cosmetic issues start to arise. Skin gets thinner and more elastic; especially with a lot of sun exposure, skin can be a major concern for anyone over 50. Our friends and dermatologists in Clearwater, Florida know all too well about excessive sun exposure. Instead of being overly concerned with cosmetic issues it might be best to improve mental health and not worry as much when it comes to what peripheral individuals think about your appearance, style, etc.
If you have further questions about teeth shifting after 50, don’t hesitate to contact our office today at 804-884-9906. We look forward to hearing from you!