Reasons Your Teeth May Shift While You Are Asleep Posted on 9/20/2019 by Sundberg Office When you look at your teeth you think they will last forever. This is particularly true if you take good care of your teeth. They look strong and healthy. But the fact is that your teeth do shift and for the most part it is common and normal. But not all teeth shifting is normal and some can be rather severe. In cases such as these, you should call us for an appointment. Teeth are not the fixed, immovable parts of your mouth that you think. Your teeth are attached to your jawbone. They are held in place by a ligament and also by something called the cementum. The cementum is a layer of your tooth. It is made of a combination of collagen and minerals. The ligament is made of connective tissue and collagen. It is flexible, which is what makes it possible for your teeth to move, whether on their own or with orthodontia.
What Causes Your Teeth to Shift?
Teeth can shift or move for a variety of reasons. During your lifetime your teeth naturally move and shift. As you age, a process called mesial drift can make your teeth move or shift. This is normal. In this process, your teeth move towards the front of your mouth. This is a natural process that we cannot stop. However, there are causes of teeth shifting and movement that can be fixed. Here are some examples. If you have an accident or you have acid eroding your tooth enamel, it can cause your teeth to shift. Acid erosion and enamel loss can change the shape of your teeth. When the shape of your tooth changes your bite must accommodate the change. To do this it may shift the teeth, so they fit together better when you bite. Another problem you may have that can cause your teeth to shift, particularly when you sleep, is bruxism. Bruxism is defined as gritting your teeth. It also refers to grinding your teeth. When you grind or clench your teeth you wear down the enamel and change the shape of your teeth. Many people grind their teeth in their sleep, but do not realize they are doing it. When you grind your teeth and change the shape, as noted above, your bite will shift to accommodate the change. If you suffer from bruxism call us. We may be able to make you a custom mouthguard to wear at night to eliminate that problem.