Why are my teeth shifting after I had a tooth pulled?

I broke a tooth in the back on the bottom of my mouth about a month ago and the dentist said there was no way to save it. So he pulled it. I don’t have the money yet to do anything in that space so it’s just empty back there. Since then, the weirdest thing has happened. I now have a space between a couple of my front teeth that was never there before. What is going on?


Audra, Virginia

Dear Audra,

The teeth in your mouth are like a team. They all work together to get the job done. Your occlusion, or your bite, is designed by how your teeth all work together to chew, swallow, and even how they fit when your jaw is clenched.

Your team of teeth

As with any team, when one player is taken out, things change. Others have to pick up more work. Players have to move around to cover for the missing one. This is the same thing that happens in your mouth. When a tooth is extracted, the body thinks the bone in that area is no longer needed and starts to distribute the minerals from that area to other areas. The bone then degenerates. Unfortunately, it only takes about six months for this to start happening after a tooth is extracted.

When this degeneration starts, the other teeth start to shift. They move to fit your new bite. For some patients, that shift is very minimal or unnoticable, but for others, it is concerning. If any shifting is going to occur, it typically happens within the first couple of years after the extraction. The bone degeneration and the shifting is why dentists suggest replacing teeth that are extracted.Dental implant root form Dental implants are good options if you mouth is healthy enough for it. The new anchors for the tooth implant trick the body into recognizing there is still a need for the minerals in the bone there.

Because your teeth are shifting quickly, you may want to speak to your dentist about your options and affordable dental plans to fix that area of your mouth.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Ryan Perry in Baton Rouge, LA.

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