It’s no secret, you can see the changes over time. As you age, so does your smile. Your teeth wear down as you chew through a lifetime of meals. But did you know that your teeth continue to shift and move well into adulthood?
4 common changes orthodontists see in patients as they age:
- Bottom teeth Crowding: Your jaw bone loses density and shrink as you age. The mismatched sizing of jaw bone to teeth leads to crowding of the bottom teeth. But crowding can occur from other issues as well such as facial trauma, reverse swallowing, tongue thrusting, and even breathing through your mouth.
- Front Teeth Gap: Space between two front teeth is called diastema. Diastema can develop for various reasons. Crowding of teeth or unproportioned jaws and teeth can cause spacing to occur over time. Sometimes, as we swallow, the pressure of the tongue pushes against your front teeth rather than the roof of your mouth. This constant pressure can cause the teeth to separate over time. Additionally, gum disease can trigger spacing due to inflamed gums.
- Post Orthodontic Treatment Shifting: If you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment, you have heard the doctor tell you the importance of continuing to wear your retainer well after your initial treatment has ended. Our bodies change our whole life, and that includes our teeth. The retainer is needed to maintain the position of the teeth. Teeth are restored, or lost, as we age, requiring to retainers to be fitted to prevent unwanted change to the position of the teeth.
- Wrong Bite: Do you get frequent headaches, clicking and popping jaw joints, grind your teeth or experience back pain? You may have a bite disorder that occurs when the upper and lower jaw don’t align correctly. This is called malocclusion, which can lead to TMD. These changes may be normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them! The number of adults undergoing orthodontic treatment is at an all-time high with an estimated 1.61 adults undergoing orthodontic treatment in the U.S. in 2018 (American Academy of Orthodontics). That is one in four adults!
Dr. Hough is the leading specialist in the St. Louis area treating TMD and specializes in orthodontic treatment with consideration to the position of the jaw. Whether you are 8 or 80, the biological process of orthodontic treatment is the same. However, each patient is different and treatment time changes based on each individual case. Contact our office today to set up your complimentary Smile Assessment with Dr. Hough at 636.391.1959.