Taking care of your teeth can be one of the more challenging aspects of keeping your body healthy.

Most people know enough to brush twice a day and floss after every meal, but other than this, the teeth remain mostly an enigma to the average person.

One of the most common yet least known about issues is crowded teeth.

While crowded teeth might sound like merely a cosmetic problem, it can actually wreak havoc in your overall health in a variety of ways.

Today, I’m going to delve into what you need to know about crowded teeth, so your oral hygiene can continue to be in tiptop shape.

What are crowded teeth and how do you get them?

Crowded teeth, also referred to as malocclusion, simply means that your teeth are misaligned, which results in a variety of issues depending on the person. Because the teeth are crowded, they begin growing in abnormal directions due to lack of room.

For most of my patients, crowded teeth are an inherited trait. It depends on a person’s jaw and teeth size. However, there are a number of ways to develop crowded teeth on your own, many of which occur as a child.

I recommend parents to keep an eye out for pervasive thumb-sucking and refrain from prolonged pacifier and bottle usage, all of which could all result in the misalignment of teeth in children. It’s also possible for poorly fitted dental fillings, retainers, and braces to cause crowded teeth, hence why it’s important to see an experienced dentist.

What are the consequences of crowded teeth?

When the teeth are packed together, it becomes difficult for your toothbrush or floss to reach certain places. This allows bacteria and plaque to go unattended, resulting in stains and tar buildup.

Malocclusion can cause

  • frequent tongue biting
  • speech problems
  • for younger children, new teeth to grow where they shouldn’t
  • teeth are harder to clean, making them susceptible to plaque buildup and gum disease
  • can result in a TMJ disorder

When you have a TMJ disorder, it means there’s great pain in the joints and muscles that operate your jaw, resulting in a myriad of painful symptoms

maloccolusion can cause

What is the best crowded teeth treatment?

While minor misalignments in the teeth are relatively normal, moderate or severe deviations can cause pain and should be treated.

Braces

One of the most common techniques in modern orthodontics for treating crowded teeth is braces, which use a metal wire to realign the teeth.

Tooth Removal

Sometimes, in cases of extreme overcrowding, the removal of certain teeth can help get the rest of the teeth back on track.

Some teeth don’t need to be entirely removed. Instead, they can be reshaped or adjusted, which creates the desired room for the rest of the teeth to flourish. In rare cases, surgery is required in order to reshape or shorten the jaw, but only if there’s extreme misalignment.

Clear Aligners or Invisalign®

Clear braces is a form of orthontics that’s attractive to adults and teens because they are nearly invisible. The smooth, clear material is custom made in the lab and designed to fit snugly on your teeth, so there is no discomfort or unsightly metal brackets.  It can be easier to brush and floss during your treatment, as compared to traditional ortho, for better oral health.

Click here to read more about Invisalign.

Which of these is best for you?

I recommend making an appointment with us and getting a personal diagnosis. Crowded teeth can be spotted during a routine exam, although x-rays are sometimes required to get the most complete picture.

Treatment itself is about a six-month to two-year process, although it can go longer. Treatment for children and adolescents is easiest, as their bones and teeth are more malleable than an adults’.

We… believe in making your life easy

My team and I know you have a lot on your plate.

Worrying about your teeth can sometimes fall to the bottom of the pile when it comes to your many responsibilities.

That’s why we go out of our way to make sure something like crowded teeth is diagnosed and treated in the most efficient way possible.

For parents, be sure to remember to take preventative measures with your children, as their behavior at a young age can affect their oral health for years to come.

As always, it’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible. If there’s a problem, we can fix it before it gets worse. If there’s no problem, then that’s even better. Either way, you’re in good hands with your local Mount Prospect dentist.

Do you have any further questions regarding crowded teeth? Feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Not only do we love working on teeth, but we love talking about them, too!