Crowding Teeth: Why It Happens & What to Do About It

Teeth crowding is the most common problem associated with the need for orthodontic treatment. Many factors contribute to dental crowding but the most common reason for crowding is a discrepancy between the space available in each jaw and the size of the teeth. Crowding can lead to impacted teeth, a “bad bite”, and an unaesthetic appearance.

The crowding of teeth, also known as overcrowding or malocclusion, results in crooked teeth that overlap each other. The severity of the crowding can vary from mild to severe and there are a variety of factors that can result in crowded teeth.

What causes of crowded teeth?

  • Genetics: Some people have teeth that are larger than the jaw, resulting in overlapping and twisting.
  • Losing Primary Teeth: If you lose a primary tooth, other teeth tend to move into the empty space, resulting in crowding and misalignment.
  • Over-Retained Baby Teeth: When a baby tooth loosens but then tightens back into the gums, permanent teeth are not able to erupt effectively.

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.

What are the treatment options for crowded teeth?

The treatment option for crowded teeth will depend upon the severity of hte issue. It is important to speak with a certified orthodontist to identify the right treatment plan for you. Your orthodontist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options for crowded teeth:

  • Braces: One of the most common treatment options for crowded teeth is braces, especially for children. There are a variety of braces options, and your orthodontist can help determine what’s right for your situation.
  • Clear Aligners: A less invasive form of orthodontic treatment, Invisalign clear aligners are a common treatment for teeth crowding.
  • Veneers: In some instances that are mostly aesthetic in nature, particularly among adults, dental veneers may be utilized to improve the appearance and function of a moderate dental crowding.
  • Retainers: Mostly used in very mild cases of crowding, retainers, both fixed and removable may be able to correct slightly crowded teeth.
  • Headgear & Palatal Expanders: For the more extreme forms of dental crowding a dentofacial orthopedic device like headgear or palatal expanders may be used to guide facial bone growth and improve the alignment of the teeth in the process.

How can I fix my crowded teeth?

The first step is to speak with a professional orthodontist. Many offer a free consultation to assess your overall dental health and come up with a treatment plan that fits your specific needs. Your treatment may consist of one or more of the treatment options listed here. Once a orthodontic treatment plan is created, it is important to follow the instructions of your orthodontist in order to minimize the treatment time and maximize the efficiency of the treatment.

If you or your child is dealing with crowded teeth, contact us today to get started.