While it may not be talked about very often, the occurrence of shifting teeth in adults is fairly common. Teeth tend to shift over time, and the term for this phenomenon is mesial drift. There could be many possible reasons for this condition, including continually sleeping on one side, tooth decay, genetics or teeth grinding. Even if you once wore braces as a teenager, your teeth can begin to shift as you get older. There is also speculation that it was biologically useful for teeth to do so in pre-modern times as people age. Here’s some more information on this condition and what you can do about it.
Facts about mesial drifting
You may have noticed that your lower front teeth are beginning to overlap and crowd. If you have spaces or gaps, you may also notice that the gaps close, and the drifting is a somewhat positive thing. Other patients may find this crowding frustrating and even damaging to their bite. Crowded teeth in general are more difficult to keep clean, and gum disease can become a more pressing concern.
If you’re experiencing shifting and crowding teeth, your dentist can talk to you about wearing a retainer or mouthguard in order to correct the problem. This is especially true if the shifting is more severe. If you have missing teeth, getting them replaced by traditional or mini dental implants can keep the surrounding teeth from drifting into the open spaces.
Other options for combating shifting teeth include traditional braces or Invisalign. Crowns and veneers can also help improve the appearance of shifting teeth. If you’re experiencing dental shifting, make an appointment to have your teeth evaluated. The dentist can tell you the likelihood that more serious problems can develop and present a variety of options that can correct the mesial drift.