What Causes Midline Shift in Teeth?

Jun 15, 2024

Do you remember seeing Tom Cruise wearing braces in 2002? He had them because his midline was not aligned properly. So, do people have braces only to look good? No, they also trigger bite issues. Knowing “What causes midline shift in teeth?” can help you prevent it.

What is a Dental Midline Shift?

The dental midline is like an invisible line that divides your face in half. It runs between the two center teeth on the top and bottom of your mouth when you bite down. This line should also line up with your nose and the space between your eyebrows.

A dental midline shift happens when this line isn’t straight; the line between the top teeth doesn’t match up directly with the line between the bottom teeth. This shift can be hard to notice or very obvious.

Why Does Midline Shift in Teeth Happen?

Certain medical conditions and things we do in our daily lives can cause our teeth to be misaligned in the middle. Following are some reasons for such midline misalignments:

  • Missing Teeth or Hypodontia

    Missing teeth or hypodontia happens when one or more adult teeth are missing. It can be because of gum disease, tooth decay, injury, or being born with this condition. When teeth are missing, the remaining ones move to fill the gap, causing a shift in the dental midline.

  • Crowded Teeth

    Crowded teeth can also disrupt the dental midline. When teeth grow irregularly, they don’t have enough space in the mouth, causing them to be too close together. This lack of room leads to a misaligned midline.

  • Jaw Misalignment

    Different types of jaw misalignments, like crossbite, open bite, or underbite, can affect the dental midline. These issues cause the teeth to fit together incorrectly, which can cause the midline to shift.

  • Bad Childhood Habits

    Prolonged childhood habits like thumb sucking or using a pacifier can lead to orthodontic problems, including a misaligned dental midline. However, you can control this by helping your child break these habits as they grow.

How to Fix Off-Center Midline Teeth?

Even though a shift in the dental midline is common, your situation, goals, and budget may be different. There are different treatments available, and you can choose one based on what you need to fix your dental midline alignment.

  • Braces

    Braces are great for fixing midline misalignments, even when they are complicated by issues like crossbite. They can also help with jaw realignment when used with elastics or other special devices. The main downside is that they’re noticeable, which might not be ideal for adults.

  • Invisalign

    Invisalign is another option for correcting mild to moderate midline shifts in adults. It’s less noticeable than braces and can be paired with other dental appliances if needed to fix the misalignment.

  • Hyrax Expander

    A Hyrax expander is a device that’s attached to the teeth and placed on the roof of the mouth to widen the upper jaw. It’s worn for several months to allow the teeth and mouth to adjust to the new position.

  • Extraction

    Removing a tooth strategically can help fix a midline shift. When a tooth is taken out, the surrounding teeth move to fill the space. This might be combined with other treatments for better results.

  • Surgery

    In severe cases where the midline shift is structural, surgery may be needed. Your dentist will try nonsurgical options first, but if those don’t work, surgery might be necessary.

Bottom Line

Dental midline misalignment is not a cosmetic concern. It can be helpful in restoring your oral health. Therefore, regardless of the question, “What causes midline shift in teeth?” Modern dentistry offers many treatment possibilities. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Visit Dr. Allen Jahangiri at Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Our doctor of dental surgery offers various cosmetic, general, implant, pediatric, and oral surgery procedures. Call us at (281) 394-2929 to secure an appointment.

Dr. Allen Jahangiri

Dr. Allen Jahangiri

Dr. Allen Jahangiri, founder of Noble Smile family and cosmetic dentistry in Katy, Texas, and his team offer top-notch dental and aesthetic services to enhance your smile. Trained at the University of Texas, Health Science Center in San Antonio, Dr. Jahangiri learned from leading dentists and oral surgeons. After earning his DDS, he completed a residency to master advanced dental techniques. He provides a comprehensive range of services, including cosmetic, general, implant, pediatric dentistry, and oral surgery. Recognizing patient anxiety, he also specializes in sedation dentistry for a more comfortable experience.
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