Indiana Retired Teachers Association blog retired teachers blog IRTA blog Image

Small Movements in the Mouth Can Add Up: How to Protect Yourself From Shifting Teeth

January 20, 2021

Though you can’t see it happening, your teeth are always on the move. Teeth continue to shift throughout our lives. This is because of several factors including the changing shape of the jaw over time, pressures from eating and talking, and potential dental health issues like gum disease. Even if you’ve had braces or still wear a retainer, it’s important to work with your dentist to minimize the shifting of your teeth and to keep watch for any significant movement.

One common reason for teeth to shift is if you’ve had a tooth extracted. The surrounding teeth may start to move to try to fill the space. While many people get along fine for the rest of their lives after having their wisdom teeth or other rear molars pulled, losing an incisor ( the four front teeth each on the top and bottom of the mouth) or canine tooth (the teeth next to the incisors that look like fangs) poses a greater risk. The teeth on either side may shift toward each other in the new space left by the extraction. The best way to solve this problem is to replace missing teeth with a bridge or dental implants to replace the missing tooth or teeth and fill the space. 

Another common reason for teeth shifting is gum disease, which weakens the gums that help keep teeth in place. Loose or shifting teeth are one of many serious complications of gum disease. If gum disease is a concern, good dental hygiene may require more frequent dentist appointments and procedures like root planing or teeth scaling.

If your dentist observes significant shifting of your teeth, they might recommend you be fitted for a retainer. Wearing a retainer consistently is one of the most effective ways to minimize shifting. Though retainers can be a little uncomfortable at first, most people get used to them very quickly and dentists agree that they are one of the most effective and least invasive ways to minimize shifting. 

The simplest but most important strategy to maintaining good dental health is being attentive to good oral hygiene. That means brushing at least twice a day, flossing every day, reducing or avoiding choices that can harm your dental health, such as smoking, and being sure to get regular dental checkups so any changes in your bite and smile can be addressed earlier rather than later.

Teeth continue to shift throughout your life and can lead to imperceptible or significant changes. These changes can affect our smile or require surgery. INRTA and AMBA can help you keep your mouth – and your smile – healthy with a dental plan that covers everything from routine check-ups to implants (which many other plans don’t cover!), all at a great low cost group rate.

Learn More

Share:
RECENT POSTS
Three Ways to Build Better Balance
Three Ways to Build Better Balance

Retirees and people approaching retirement can now put less focus on establishing a healthy work/life balance, and more focus


Read More

Let AMBA Passport Take You Away This Holiday Season
Let AMBA Passport Take You Away This Holiday Season

Got a sudden urge to travel this holiday season but concerned the last-minute bookings will be too expensive? With AMBA


Read More

Top 10 Eye Care Myths
Top 10 Eye Care Myths

Maybe you remember a certain late night talk show. One of the most popular segments was “The Top 10 List”. While


Read More

Over 46% of Adults Have Gum Disease. Are You One of Them?
Over 46% of Adults Have Gum Disease. Are You One of Them?

Nearly half of American adults have some form of gum disease. Despite this alarmingly large percentage, many avoid treating the


Read More

©2020 Indiana Retired Teachers Association. All Right Reserved.