Mesial drift is a very interesting phenomenon in dentistry. As we age and our jaw and mouth further develop, it causes movement in our teeth. Accordingly, our teeth will vary their positions from their original position.
To illustrate mesial drift, let’s take a look back when we were younger. Most of us may have gaps between our teeth. This natural spacing of teeth, known as diastema, is a good thing because it provides room for our then small teeth to grow and develop.
As we age, the mesial drift happens so slowly that we won’t even notice it. We would just realize one day as we look into the mirror that we have crowded teeth. This is especially true once the wisdom teeth have emerged at the back rows of our teeth.
As a result of crowding, our teeth have the tendency to move forward where space is available. This natural drifting of teeth is also partly a result of our chewing movements. As we chew, we are inadvertently causing movement of our teeth in their sockets.
On the other hand, the natural tendency of our teeth if a neighboring tooth is pulled out is to tilt or shift toward the existing gap. This mesial drift is typical since pressure is exerted on one side of the tooth without anything to counter-balance on the other side. Naturally, the tooth would tilt or shift in one direction only.
To restore or maintain the natural spacing of your teeth, consult your dentist about the different retainers that you can wear.