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Discussion in 'Dental' started by E'01, Dec 18, 2001.
Just curious - is this a phenomenon that can really occur?
For all practical purposes, that answer is yes. (Just ask anyone who recently went to the orthodontist for a wire change and they'll tell you that you can feel the results of the movement! ) Since teeth are suspended in the bone by the periodontal ligament, they are susceptable to movement, and in many cases if you closely watch the excursive movements of patients when they occlude you will actually see slight movement(unless of course the patients has some moderate to severe perio disease and then you can really see some movement). In reality though most of the time the extent of this movement is so small that it isn't readily observable, yet alone dectable in one's own mouth.
Sorry for getting too technical. Excursive movements to break it down is the side to side grinding motion. How this relates, is the periodontal ligament that I referred to as the mechanism that holds the tooth to the bone. Think of this as your tooth being held in place by thousands of tiny rubber bands. When you exert enough force on your tooth (either up and down, or side to side) for some people you can actually see the result of the stretching of these "rubber bands" in the form of tooth movement. Now rubber bands being rubber bands will spring back to a neutral position, and thus teeth will in most cases end up back in their original position.
Now I'll try to keep this part simple too. To make a tooth permanently remove, you need to exert a constant pressure in a constant direction to the tooth(i.e. you constantly push out with your tongue on your lower teeth). This will actually cause the suspending rubber bands and the bone that it is connected to on the lip side of your tooth to be resorbed(essentially dissolved) by your body. In return, your body will fill in the space that the tooth once occupied (the bone on the tongue side), thus preventing the tooth from moving back into its original position. Okay, thats far too much bone biology and orthodontic principles for tonight.
Short less technical version, if you push on a tooth for a long period of time it will move that way permanently. If you push on a tooth for a short period of time it will move and then spring back to the starting position.