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5 Possible Explanations for Shifting Teeth

5 Possible Explanations for Shifting Teeth

January 2, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — simplyorthosct @ 8:32 pm
a person inspecting their teeth in a mirror

If you’ve been inspecting your smile in the bathroom mirror recently and noticed that some of your teeth seem to have shifted out of place, you might be puzzled—but believe it or not, the issue can affect just about anyone! And it’s often not very obvious why the issue has manifested in the first place; however, your orthodontist will be able to get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, here are a few of the most common explanations for teeth shifting, along with how professional intervention can help.

What Causes Shifting Teeth?

There are many reasons for teeth shifting out of place, but five of the most common explanations include things like:


This condition, also referred to as teeth grinding or jaw clenching, often occurs at nighttime when a patient is asleep. It can lead to dental misalignment, changes to the shape of your teeth, and discomfort in the joints that connect the lower jaw to the rest of the skull (the temporomandibular joints).

Gum Disease

Untreated gum disease, usually due to chronically poor oral hygiene, can progress into periodontitis, an advanced form of the illness that can deteriorate your bone and the overlying gum tissue. This may cause your teeth to loosen and move around.


Just as your skin will lose its elasticity and sag as you age, your teeth will show their age over time not only by losing color and becoming worn down but also by moving into new positions. In particular, the degree of crowding of the six lower front teeth tends to increase as patients age.

Physical Trauma

Sustaining a blow to the mouth can lead to dental issues, including teeth shifting out of place. Sometimes these injuries can partially extrude a tooth; other times, teeth can become entirely displaced, which may lead to further movement.

Tongue Thrust

This is a common condition that refers to when a patient pushes their tongue forward against their teeth. It can happen while speaking, eating, or even sleeping, and this excess force can gradually create gaps between teeth.

Can My Orthodontist Help?

If you believe that your teeth have shifted, even only slightly, you’ll want to have a consultation with your orthodontist. The issue is not going to resolve itself; in fact, it may continue to worsen without professional intervention. Treatment depends on the severity of the shifting and the underlying cause; however, it’s often easily remedied with effective orthodontic options like metal braces, clear aligners, or oral appliance therapy. In any case, once it’s been fixed, you can go back to sporting your best and healthiest smile!

About Simply Orthodontics Dayville

Our team here at Simply Orthodontics Dayville has proudly served patients and families in the Dayville, CT area for several years, and we’d be honored if you trusted us to tend to your family’s orthodontic needs! We offer a wide range of orthodontic services for patients of all ages, including both traditional metal braces as well as Invisalign clear aligners. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or someone you know, feel free to visit us online or give us a call today! Telephone: (860) 774-2008.