Misaligned teeth, crooked teeth or crowded teeth are commonly seen in kids, adults and old people. When the teeth erupt and grow in a way that they become overlapped, twisted, angled or rotated, they become crowded, crooked or misaligned. In the upper row, the common signs of crowding are the front tooth or teeth sitting high and pointed outwards. In the lower jaw, overlapped front teeth are extremely common. This crowding of teeth mostly worsens if neglected as you age.
Such issues with teeth alignment not only ruin your smile but can also lead to several oral and overall health problems in the long run. Let’s understand what are the common causes, related issues, orthodontic treatment options and advantages of fixing misaligned, crowded or crooked teeth.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
Baby teeth as well as permanent teeth can either naturally grow or later on become crooked.
Poor Repetitive Behaviors
Repetitive behaviors such as sucking on thumb or pacifier, tongue thrusting or mouth breathing for long can push the baby teeth out of their original position and hence they become misaligned. Sometimes, the temporary teeth in babies move into crooked positions simply because they are too small to fill in their respective gum spaces.
Soft or processed food if consumed excessively over several years reduces the amount of chewing considerably. This change has altered the collective jaw size making it smaller. It is believed that the shorter jaw is often responsible for causing misaligned, crowded or crooked teeth. Besides, poor nutrition, especially in children, may lead to tooth decay and insufficient dental development, both of which are potential triggers for crooked teeth.
When the jaw closes and the teeth in both the jaws do not fit properly over each other, the resulting condition is known as malocclusion or misaligned jaw. The different types include underbite and overbite. In an underbite, the lower front teeth protrude out farther away from the upper front teeth. Whereas in an overbite, the upper front teeth jut out away from the lower front teeth.
If one or both the parents have crooked or crowded teeth, it’s possible that the child will also have the same issue.
Forceful blow to face or mouth in case of an injury can knock the teeth out of place thus causing misaligned teeth.
Why Crooked Teeth Are Bad And What Are The Related Issues?
People with crooked teeth or misaligned bites often face the following issues:
It becomes hard to clean the teeth thoroughly due to which food particles may remain stuck in between the crevices. This may lead to decay and gum diseases. If ignored for long, gum diseases may develop into periodontitis – a more severe form of infection which can damage gum tissue, teeth and bones.
Quality of life can be affected as the crooked smile might lower confidence and affect the self-esteem making the individual socially awkward.
Simple actions such as chewing may become difficult which in turn may lead to digestion problems.
In some cases, misaligned or crooked teeth may affect the ability of articulating sound thus causing speech problems.
Excessive Wear and Tear
Incorrectly aligned teeth can put extra pressure on teeth, gums and jaw muscles leading to excessive wear and tear. This may result in jaw strain, chronic headaches, cracked teeth or even temporomandibular joint disorder.
How To Fix Crooked Teeth?
There are multiple treatments available for teeth straightening and to fix crooked and misaligned teeth. They are as described below:
It's one of the most commonly preferred treatments especially for severely crowded teeth. The different types of braces available today are:
These comprise brackets and wires and are slightly bulky. They may cause irritation or discomfort. However, metal braces are the strongest and best for extremely overcrowded teeth or complex bite problems.
Their structure is similar to the metal braces but they are tooth-colored and hence almost invisible. Hence, ceramic braces are more popular as compared to metal braces.
Invisalign braces are a bit expensive but extremely convenient, comfortable and easy to use and remove. They are clear plastic trays and help shift the teeth in small increments.
They come in two options – removable and fixed. They are much cheaper than braces and require fewer visits to the dentist.
If the teeth are less crooked or crowded, veneers can fix them easily. They are more of an aesthetic solution as they don’t actually straighten your teeth but make them appear straight. They are composite or porcelain covers which are applied on the front surface of the teeth.
This involves a lot of tooth restructuring followed by fitting a porcelain or metal crown over the top of the teeth. They are the least preferred option as a lot of healthy tooth needs to be removed.
Crooked Teeth - Before & After
What Are The Benefits Of Fixing Crooked Or Misaligned Teeth?
Teeth straightening can not only work wonders for your smile but also save you a lot of trouble on the oral and overall health front. Here are some of the benefits of fixing crooked teeth:
- Gums fit more securely around the teeth which helps prevent periodontal problems
- Teeth are easier to clean and floss
- Excessive wear and tear of teeth is eliminated
- Since the teeth aren’t protruded, they are less likely to be damaged in case of an accident
- No excessive stress on the gums and the bones due to misaligned jaw and hence the chances of pain in the face or neck and headaches are reduced
- Chewing is no longer a challenge and hence the associated overall health problems such as indigestion are also reduced
- Straight smile is an important part of personality. It boosts confidence and self-esteem
If you want to fix crooked or misaligned teeth, get in touch with us at Brite Orthodontics today. We have a team of experienced professionals which is dedicated to provide exceptional dental care so that you enjoy a healthy and perfect smile.
Very good article on braces.