Just like the rest of your body, your mouth is constantly changing. Understanding what goes on in your mouth (and face) over the years will enable you to identify the actions you need to take to overcome the consequences.
- Your bottom jaw never stops growing! – your bottom jaw (mandible) continues to grow forward throughout life. This forward growth, although very slow and small in magnitude, results in your lower front teeth bumping into the upper front teeth from behind causing either your upper front teeth to space out or your lower front teeth to get crowded (crooked).
- Your bottom jaw width shrinks over time – The bottom jaw gets smaller in width over the years, especially between the lower canine teeth.
- Grinding and tooth wear – Grinding (gnashing or clenching) your teeth (bruxism) is a destructive process which causes excessive tooth wear and in severe cases it may also result in damage to the tissues surrounding your teeth.
- Dental procedures and tooth loss – if one of your teeth is removed, the teeth next to it and opposite to it will shift into the space created.
- Periodontal disease and bone loss – The result is loss in bone teeth which means less support for your teeth. Teeth shifting (and mobility) is a common consequence and often causes gaps (spaces) to open up between your teeth.
- Aging – Teeth are enveloped by lips and cheeks on the outside and your tongue on the inside. Generally speaking, aging makes lips tighter and this means more pressure on your teeth from the outside. The result? more crowding!
- Orthodontic treatment – if not carried out correctly or finished too early, it could cause the teeth to move more later in life. The most common cause of tooth movement after orthodontic treatment is not wearing retainers.