Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Our bodies change as we age; it’s inevitable, whether we like it or not. Your teeth change over time as well. One of the unanticipated, and unwanted, changes is that sometimes teeth become more crooked or crowded as time passes. This is known as drifting, and it can have a major impact on your oral health. Your Poway dentist at Smiles by Dr. Cook wants to explore the causes of teeth drifting, and how we can help in these cases.
There are three main reasons why your teeth may begin to drift during adulthood:
One of the most widespread chronic diseases in the United States, gum disease has been estimated to affect nearly half of all American adults. When you have gum disease, there is a bacterial infection that attacks your gum tissue. Left untreated, however, gum disease can do damage to your teeth, as well as the supporting bone structure and the ligaments that secure the teeth to the jawbone. If not treated, the supporting bone begins to deteriorate, your teeth can become less stable, quite simply because there is less bone structure there to hold the teeth in place. When it comes to gum disease, early detection and treatment are key to prevent tooth loss, and the cascading effects that go along with it, one of which being teeth that drift out of alignment.
The first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is noticeable by gums that are red, inflamed, or bleeding. If you notice any of these problems, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Poway, Dr. Nicol Cook, as soon as possible.
Bite misalignment and missing teeth
Any misalignment of the bite or jaw, including temporomandibular joint disorder, takes advantage of the natural movement of your teeth and can cause some serious problems. If your bite becomes off either from missing teeth, an injury to the face, or other means, your entire orofacial system can fall out of balance, leading your teeth to drift out of their usual space. This becomes a vicious cycle; drifting teeth worsen any existing misalignment of your bite, which makes your teeth drift at a faster rate.
Dr. Cook specializes in neuromuscular dentistry, an advanced area of dental science that focuses on alignment issues with the bite and jaw. She can use her skills in neuromuscular dentistry to restore balance to your bite, and prevent your teeth from drifting. Click here to learn more about Dr. Cook’s program of neuromuscular dentistry.
Do you chew on inanimate objects such as pens or your fingernails? How about ice cubes? Using your teeth to chomp on anything other than food could damage your teeth, throwing off your bite alignment. Bruxism, the clinical term for teeth clenching and grinding, also may result in damaged or drifting teeth. Many people who grind their teeth never realize they are doing it because they do so while they are asleep.
After evaluating your oral health and discussing your lifestyle, Dr. Cook can identify any negative habits that may be responsible for your drifting teeth. If bruxism is the culprit, Smiles by Dr. Cook can protect your teeth against the potential damages of bruxism by prescribing a mouth guard that is customized to fit your teeth and mouth.
Whatever the cause of your drifting teeth, Smiles by Dr. Cook is here to help and can treat the problem. To schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.Your Poway dentist at Smiles by Dr. Cook wants to explore the causes of teeth drifting, and how we can help in these cases.