One of the most common issues affecting an individual’s confidence in their smile today is overcrowding. Having too many teeth and not enough space in your mouth can cause teeth to become crooked and affect both adults and children.
Even though this may seem like a flippant problem to have, having crowded teeth can not only affect your confidence aesthetically, but it can also cause problems for your oral health. Let’s take a look at what exactly causes dental crowding and what can be done to help.
What is Dental Crowding?
Dental crowding occurs when there is insufficient space in the jaw for all the teeth to align properly, leading to teeth becoming misaligned or overlapping, and resulting in a crowded appearance. Crowded teeth can vary in severity from mild, where just one or two teeth overlap, to severe, where most of the teeth in your jaw overlap. Several factors contribute to the development of crowded teeth, a combination of genetics and environmental influences playing a role.
Common Causes of Dental Crowding
Several factors can cause crowded teeth and though common, it’s important to understand these factors when looking to correct them.
- Genetics – the size of your jaw and the number of teeth you inherit from your parents can influence dental crowding. Some individuals may have naturally smaller jaws or larger teeth, leading to crowding issues.
- Early Tooth Loss – losing baby teeth prematurely can disrupt the natural eruption pattern of permanent teeth, potentially causing crowding as neighbouring teeth may drift into the vacant space.
- Thumb Sucking and Use of a Dummy – prolonged thumb sucking or dummy use beyond a certain age can impact the alignment of teeth, contributing to dental crowding.
- Poor Oral Habits – inadequate oral hygiene practices and habits like breathing with an open mouth can affect the development of the jaw and contribute to crowding.
Possible Consequences of Crowded Teeth
Crowded teeth can play a huge part in a person’s self-confidence, not wanting to smile in social settings and group photos and if the crowding is prominent, it can understandably affect an individual’s self-esteem.
Another way crowded teeth can impact an individual is the effect it has on their oral health. Crowded teeth are difficult to clean, as there is less of a surface area available. If you can’t brush or floss between the gaps of your teeth, then food can get stuck, causing a build-up of bacteria known as plaque. Not being able to adequately remove plaque from the teeth for a prolonged period can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems.
In some cases, dental crowding can also lead to difficulties in speech and chewing, affecting overall oral function and may eventually lead to a change in the shape of the jaw and face.
How Can Dental Crowding Be Treated?
The only way to fix dental crowding is by orthodontic treatment, with several different options, depending on the severity of your case. Braces or clear aligners are the most common options for dental crowding correction, which include:
- Fixed Metal Braces – this is the traditional type of metal brace we think of when we hear braces. They consist of small metal brackets that are fitted to the front of your teeth, with a wire running through them, and kept in place by small elastic bands.
- Ceramic Braces – much the same as metal braces, they are fitted to the front of the teeth and consist of subtle, clear, or tooth-coloured brackets with a wire running through. They are a more attractive alternative to metal braces as they are much less noticeable.
- Lingual Braces – this brace system is made up of small brackets and an archwire, the same as traditional braces, but they are fitted to the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible.
- Invisalign – this is a clear brace system that straightens teeth discreetly and is made up of a series of aligners that aim to move specific teeth at each stage in the straightening process.
For more severe cases of dental crowding, tooth extraction may need to happen before a brace system is fitted. If there is insufficient room in the mouth for all teeth to sit in alignment, then removing some of the teeth and allowing the space to be filled by the remaining teeth, can be a solution. For cases where the upper jaw is too narrow, a palatal expander may also be used to widen the arch of the jaw and create more room for teeth to straighten out.
How Your Expert Orthodontist in Chorley Can Help
If you think you have dental crowding and it is affecting your self-confidence or even your oral health, you may benefit from coming to speak to a specialist orthodontist in Chorley. At Chorley Orthodontics, we offer a variety of specialist-led orthodontic treatments that can help you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of and gain the confidence to stand proud.
We are an expert orthodontist in Chorley that can help with the most severe cases of dental crowding. Our friendly, passionate, and enthusiastic team work toward providing the best service and results. So, if you would like to speak to us about your specific dental issues, call us today, to book your free consultation and gain the smile you deserve from your friendly orthodontist in Chorley.