Crooked or misaligned teeth are common in children and adults. And many people have no issues with their crooked teeth. However, dental misalignment can often affect overall health, and that’s when corrective actions are vital.
In this post, we’ll discuss 12 reasons teeth can move out of place, when this is (and isn’t) a cause for concern, and what you can do about it.
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Causes of Crooked Teeth
If your parents and grandparents had crooked teeth, it’s likely you do, too. As another example, if you inherited large teeth from your mother and a small jaw from your father, you can end up with teeth that don’t fit and become crooked.
This happens when your upper and lower teeth don’t align when you close your mouth. This can be genetic (as noted above) when your teeth are too crowded for your mouth. But malocclusion can also happen for other reasons, such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and tooth loss.
3. Prolonged thumb-sucking/pacifier use
While thumb sucking/pacifier use ends typically within a few months, some children keep this habit up for far longer. This pressure from the thumb or pacifier on the gums can cause teeth to grow in crooked.
4. Tongue thrusting
This happens when the tongue hits against the front teeth or comes out between the front teeth when you swallow or talk. While this is most common in infants and children, it can continue into adulthood.
5. Mouth breathing
You may not have ever thought of this—after all, how much damage can air do? However, when children breathe through the mouth for long periods, it can also cause misalignment of teeth.
6. Early loss of primary (baby) teeth
At around age six, children will begin to lose their baby teeth. When a child loses a tooth earlier than this, it can cause other teeth to shift into the open space and new teeth to grow in crooked.
If children don’t practice good dental hygiene from the day they can hold a toothbrush, this can lead to gingivitis and eventually periodontitis. This severe form of gum disease affects the way teeth grow out.
A balanced diet is vital for proper tooth and bone development. Poor nutrition can lead to crooked teeth because the body doesn’t have enough nutrients to help teeth grow properly.
9. Childhood facial injury
When a child has a severe injury to the face, this can cause the jaw to shift its position. It can also result in tooth loss. And both things can lead to teeth growing in crooked.
10. Poor- or improper-fitting dental work
When you have a crown, bridge, or filling that doesn’t fit properly, it can have a negative impact on your bite. This can cause pain and misaligned teeth.
11. Not replacing missing permanent teeth
As with baby teeth, when a permanent tooth is lost and not replaced, it can leave a gap in the gum line, which will cause a shift in the other teeth. That’s why it’s vital to replace a missing tooth with an implant or bridge.
12. Natural changes with age
When we age, our teeth naturally shift as our bite deepens. This can cause teeth to become crooked, even if you’ve never worn braces or Invisalign before.
Problems from Misalignment of Teeth
Now that you know how many things can cause your teeth to go out of alignment, let’s dive into what can happen as a result:
Gum Disease: When your teeth are crowded or crooked, it can be hard to clean them properly. That can lead to plaque, tooth decay, and eventually, gum disease.
Excessive Wear and Tear: With a misalignment in your teeth, they can start to deteriorate. And when that wear and tear becomes excessive, it can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular jaw disorder) and the pain and discomfort that go with it.
Chewing Difficulties: Crowded or crooked teeth can make chewing difficult. This can lead to digestive problems.
Difficulty Speaking: One of the most common effects of crooked teeth is speech difficulties, particularly problems pronouncing certain words.
Low Self Esteem: Our smile is an important reflection of our personality. That’s why people with misaligned teeth may have increased self-esteem issues.
How to Fix Crooked Teeth
So, do you always have to fix crooked teeth? The short answer is no. However, this needs a bit more explanation.
If your child’s teeth aren’t straight, this may not be an issue. In fact, if your child has spaces between their baby teeth, this can be a good thing since the permanent teeth will take up more room once they come through. However, if your child has crowded baby teeth, their permanent teeth will likely also be crowded.
Per the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. That’s because certain issues may be easier to correct if they’re found early. So, if you have any questions at all about your child’s teeth and their potential misalignment, we highly recommend setting up an appointment for a free consultation with Dr. Taylor, our board-certified orthodontist. He can recommend the correct treatment at the appropriate time and prevent any complications that could come up later.
We now have a wide variety of treatment options for crooked teeth. These can include:
- Traditional Braces: Traditional braces are a combination of wire, elastic bands, and plastic brackets that are fitted onto your teeth. Traditional metal brackets, made of stainless steel or titanium, are now much smaller and flatter, making them less noticeable and more comfortable.
- Gold Braces: Gold braces are a trendy and aesthetic option—like jewelry for your teeth! The brackets and the connecting wires are gold, adding an aesthetic flair to your smile. However, they function just like traditional braces.
- Clear Braces: Clear braces are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. They offer a fantastic aesthetic alternative for patients seeking options other than traditional metal braces.
A fantastic alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth without the look of metal braces. They are almost invisible, can be easily removed for eating, and will not irritate the inside of your mouth as metal braces can. And they really will straighten your teeth just as well as regular braces when administered by a trained orthodontist.
No matter whether you choose braces or Invisalign, we are here to help you achieve a beautiful smile!
Call us at 956-621-7907, or complete the form below now for a FREE, no-obligation consultation!
We service McAllen and its surrounding areas.
We are always happy to hear from you. If you have a question or would like a no-charge consultation, jet send us your information and one of our highly trained orthodontic staff will be in touch with you!