Having your teeth fall out of alignment (or otherwise known as shifting teeth) can occur due to many reasons. It can be caused by the simple fact that you sleep only on one side every night, or it can be due to teeth grinding. You may also find your teeth falling out of alignment because of bad dental habits. Whatever the cause may be, shifting teeth can actually bring you more dental problems if left untreated, since teeth that are misaligned may prove to be more difficult to clean.

Not only will you face dental issues with crooked teeth caused by shifting, but you might also find yourself with self-esteem problems because of this. You need to find out why your teeth are misaligning in order for you to find the right treatment for it. So, what exactly causes teeth to shift? Here are some of the more common reasons:

Age – when a person grows older, the natural wearing away of the areas between each tooth happens. Since the bottom teeth are thinner and will wear out faster than the upper teeth, shifting slowly occurs when a person bites down.

Jaw clenching and teeth grinding – these two are actually very bad habits to develop for your teeth. These can force either your top or your bottom teeth to misalign due to the added pressure on them. Some people tend to do this in their sleep, accelerating the process without them knowing it.

Loss of a tooth – when you lose a tooth, it is a good idea to have that area filled. Leaving the area as it is will cause the teeth around it to shift, trying to fill that gap. What may happen is, if you have a missing tooth at the bottom, the teeth beside it will shift sideways and the tooth directly above it will start to grow downward.

Genetics – even if you’re born with straight teeth, you might be carrying genes that dictate the shifting of these teeth at a later age. Check your family tree and ask your parents, relatives and grandparents about their history with shifting teeth. If it’s common on either side of your family, it might be a good talking point when you consult a dentist.

Tooth Decay and Cavities – having cavities filled due to tooth decay can cause your teeth to shift, especially if composite (plastic) filling is used for this. On the other hand, if you do not treat this problem and the decay spreads to the gums, you will still find yourself with teeth that are out of alignment since this will eat at the bone that keeps your teeth in place.

Whatever the cause for the shift may be, having misaligned teeth is nothing to worry about. As long as a competent dentist takes care of it, your teeth should stay nice and straight. There are many solutions to this particular problem, Braces, retainers and cosmetic dentistry are just some of the measures commonly taken to correct shifting teeth. For best results, make it a habit to visit your dentist regularly so he or she can deal with potential issues early on.