Should My Teeth Move?

Your teeth are made to move just like the rest of your body. But when that movement is compromised, tooth loss can result.

“Teeth are spring-loaded,” Mike said. “Flexible ligaments hold the teeth in place and absorb the shock of chewing. Without this ability to flex, the teeth, tissue and bone would sustain constant trauma.”

Keeping those ligaments as well as the teeth healthy is key to avoiding tooth loss. Besides regular flossing, brushing and visiting your dentist, here’s what you can do to ensure your ligaments remain flexible.

Choose non-abrasive food

Highly abrasive foods can erode teeth and cause occlusal changes. We recommend avoiding foods like pickles (high vinegar content), soda and white wine (high acidic content), and ice (chewing it creates enamel fractures).

Choose high quality repairs

Dr. Gordon Christensen, a major dental guru, wrote that decayed or broken teeth allow teeth to drift and collapse your ability to properly bite. He recommends using restorative materials with wear characteristics that are similar to enamel and to initiate repair as soon as possible to avoid unwanted movement. In addition, adjusting teeth to your natural bite after the restoration will keep teeth properly aligned.

Replace missing teeth

Probably the most common cause of tooth movement is extraction of a tooth without replacement. Dr. Christensen recommends immediate replacement because the resulting movement can be nearly impossible to return to a normal state.

Read more about Dr. Christensen’s insights into occlusion and how dentists can control these changes in his great Q&A in Dental Economics.


If you’d like to get an understanding of how we repair and replace teeth, download our free ebook Before and After Dental Work. Or, if you’re in search of a Milwaukee dentist who can monitor the movement of your teeth, make an appointment with us today.

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