Crooked, misaligned teeth are very common, but did you know that sometimes crooked teeth are acquired? People get crooked teeth for a variety of reasons. For the most part, baby teeth and permanent teeth can come in crooked, or they become crooked as they grow. Baby teeth can become crooked when there is no space to grow, meaning the jaw is too small for the teeth or that the teeth are too small to fill the amount of gum space in the mouth.

What causes crooked teeth?

Genetics

Parents who have crooked or crowded teeth are more likely to pass it down to their children. Children may also inherit an overbite or underbite from their parents.

Mouth breathing

Mouth breathers place too much pressure on their teeth during rest, speech, and swallowing. This extra abnormal pressure further contributes to malocclusions or crooked teeth.

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids

Having enlarged tonsils pushes the tongue forward and does not allow it to properly rest in the oral cavity, which gives the extra abnormal pressure against the teeth. Enlarged adenoids also contribute to chronic mouth breathing, which then leads to crooked teeth.

Poor dental care

Not taking care of your teeth at home or being unable to go to the dentist bi-annually means that problems such as cavities and gum disease are left untreated. This can lead to crooked teeth or more serious dental health problems.

Facial Injury

Facial injuries can knock out teeth and shift it out of place resulting in one or more crooked teeth.

Congenital Abnormalities

Congenital abnormalities, such as being born with missing teeth or a restricted frenum, may also further contribute to crooked teeth. Being born with congenitally missing teeth will create spaces in between the teeth. Over time, these spaces can force the adjacent teeth to shift, as there will be a lack of support from the adjacent structures.

Issues caused by crooked teeth

  • Periodontal disease – Crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth make it harder to clean them properly. Improper hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to periodontitis.
  • Airway problems – Crooked teeth can be a sign of an airway problem such as obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Chewing and digestion – Crooked teeth can be a hindrance the ability to chew correctly, which in turn can cause indigestion
  • Speech problems – Misaligned teeth can affect the way you talk.
  • Excess wear – Crooked teeth can cause excess wear and tear on the teeth, gums, and jaw muscles resulting in cracked teeth, jaw strain, TMJ, and chronic headaches.

Crooked teeth are a common problem experienced by many children, teens, and adults. However, it may be more than just an aesthetic problem, and your oral health can often affect your overall health. That is why it is important for dentists to investigate the underlying issues associated with crooked teeth.

The decision to correct crooked teeth is a personal one, and there are many ways and options available to improve your smile. One such option is traditional metal braces. You can also get fitted for invisible braces, such as Invisalign, which are clear aligners that you wear like a mouthguard.

If you are thinking of improving your smile, schedule a consultation with your local clinic. We will always be here to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted!