Crowded Teeth: How It Happens & What To Do About It
Crowded teeth also known as malocclusion of the teeth is a misalignment of teeth that can have a major impact on your overall health. When teeth are misaligned, you can experience excessive wear on the teeth and gums, cracked teeth, jaw strain, headaches, and other issues. The point here is crooked teeth are not simply an aesthetic issue.
Causes of Misalignment
Although crowded teeth are usually inherited, there are habits or conditions that can change the jaw and your teeth alignment. Some of the most commonly cited causes of misalignment include:
- Pacifier use after 3 years old
- Thumb sucking
- Airway obstruction
- Jaw injuries
- Prolonged bottle feeding in early childhood
- Abnormal teeth
Symptoms Associated with Malocclusion
Depending on jaw size, your case of crowded teeth can be mild, moderate or severe and symptoms may vary. However, the most common symptoms are as follows:
- Mouth breathing
- Pain while chewing or breathing
- Lisp or other speech problems
- Biting inner cheeks or tongue
- Changes in face appearance
- Incorrect alignment of teeth
Treatment plans for crowded teeth depend on age and severity of the case. Common options include:
Braces are the most common option for crowded teeth, especially in children. Braces are used to adjust the position of teeth and are normally left on from 18 months to 3 years.
Clear Aligners, also known as Invisalign, are a common orthodontic treatment used to correct overcrowding and other types of misalignments. Aligners are worn at least 20 hours a day for 20 weeks to correct a mild alignment issue.
Veneers can be used to treat moderate cases of crowding in adults. Shells are applied by your dentist to alter your teeth’s shape, length, size, color and function. Veneers are sometimes applied after orthodontic treatment when a malocclusion case is severe.
When it comes to overcrowding, your orthodontist will be able to determine the severity and can guide you on which treatment option would be best for you. Contact us today for a free consultation and start the process of aligning your teeth for a happier, and more importantly, healthier smile.