Teeth Drifting Out Of Place? Do Something About It

If you previously lost teeth to a dental extraction or gum disease, you might notice some of your teeth drifting into the empty spots. Teeth can drift, or shift, into empty tooth sockets over time. Drifting teeth can make it difficult to bite down when you chew or eat certain foods. The information in this article can help you do something about your drifting teeth.

Why Do Teeth Drift and How Does It Affect You?

Drifting, or shifting, is one of the first problems adults with missing teeth face today. Although teeth can become mobile and drift naturally in the elderly, tooth loss and other circumstances can make teeth drift early in younger adults. The movement can be subtle, or barely noticeable, or it can be drastic enough to notice right away.

Shifting teeth can cause many issues for some adults, including alveolar bone tissue loss. The alveolar bone is the part of the jawbone that supports teeth. Alveolar bone tissue requires stimulation from chewing, biting, and other functions to grow properly. Without the active stimulation of teeth, alveolar bone tissue absorbs back into the jawbone. Your jawbone eventually shrinks or degrades.

Besides bone loss, you can also experience mouth pain when your teeth shift. The pain can travel throughout the face, including the temples and ears. If you currently feel any of these symptoms, ask a dentist to replace your lost teeth.

How Do You Keep Your Teeth From Drifting?

The only way to keep your teeth from drifting is to replace all of the teeth you lost. You can begin the process by having dental implants installed in your jawbone, or you can choose a dental bridge. Some dentists may be able to combine the two treatments for you. 

If you choose to combine dental implants and a bridge into one treatment, you'll need to do some things first. The first thing a dentist may do for you is to rebuild your jawbone so that it supports your implants and bridge properly. A provider can do so by:

  • grafting bone cells into your alveolar bone tissue
  • adding calcium-rich foods and vitamin D supplements to your diet
  • cleaning your jawbone to remove dead bone tissue and stimulate growth

No matter which option a dentist chooses for you, it's important to strengthen your jawbone before treatment. 

If you want to prevent or keep your teeth from drifting too much in your mouth, contact a dentist about dental bridges or dental implant treatment today.