Most people who have crooked teeth struggle with more than just self-esteem issues. Besides being unhappy with the way they look, they also deal with the consequences of a bad bite. If you have questions about crooked teeth, it’s best to ask a trusted family dentist in Cameron Park.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crooked Teeth
What Are the Causes of Crooked Teeth?
Genetics and Heredity
People’s physical traits and dispositions are attached to genealogical roots – and teeth are one of them. Genetic factors influence how teeth develop because they determine the structure of the bone and the size and shape of the mouth. For this reason, children whose parents have crooked teeth will likely develop similar alignment issues.
Childhood Oral Habits
Childhood habits such as prolonged bottle-feeding, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, and using a pacifier beyond the age of three can lead to improper positioning of the teeth. For this reason, dental professionals strongly encourage parents to have their child’s first dental visit as early as 12 months old. These visits are more about parent education discussions about their child’s oral habits.
Premature Loss of Primary Teeth
Since baby teeth are placeholders for permanent teeth, they serve as a guide for where they grow in. Premature loss of baby teeth due to improper oral care during childhood can cause the back teeth to slide forward in the mouth. Dental crowding and crooked teeth occur when permanent teeth don’t have enough room to come in at all.
As people get older, their teeth can have the unfortunate tendency to shift out of their proper positions. With advancing age, the bone that holds teeth in place loses density and shrinks in size. When the size of the jawbone isn’t enough to accommodate the teeth, dental crowding and misalignment develop.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Without a thorough oral hygiene routine, teeth become vulnerable to decay, cavities, infection, and eventual tooth loss. When a tooth falls out, the remaining teeth shift toward the gap or gaps in an attempt to fill them in.
As they shift, more gaps develop, and teeth become crooked. Ultimately, the spacing and crowding will lead to more tooth loss down the road.
In a normal bite, the upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth, with the points of the upper molars fitting into the grooves of the lower molars. Malocclusion occurs when the upper and lower teeth don’t line up, causing tooth overcrowding and abnormal bite patterns.
Did you know that a heavy and abrupt blow to the face can result in displaced teeth or a misaligned bite? When the impact knocks teeth out of place, the other teeth shift from their original positions, causing dental misalignment.
What Are the Common Types of Crooked Teeth?
An overbite refers to a vertical misalignment of the teeth. It occurs when the upper set of teeth sticks out farther than three millimeters over the lower teeth. An overbite may also cause the upper teeth to bite down onto the gums in extreme cases.
Moreover, this type of malocclusion causes teeth to wear down faster due to constant impact against each other. It can also trigger jaw pain, speech difficulties, and sleep apnea.
An underbite happens when the bottom front teeth extend farther than the top front teeth. If this malocclusion goes uncorrected, it causes teeth to wear down and put stress on the jaw joints.
An anterior open bite is another type of malocclusion that occurs when the top front teeth and the lower teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed. In contrast, a posterior open bite occurs when the top and bottom front teeth meet, but the back teeth don’t. Leaving open bites untreated will cause difficulties with tongue thrusting, swallowing, and speech.
A crossbite happens when a tooth or several teeth don’t line up correctly while the mouth is closed.
What Problems Can Crooked Teeth Cause?
Since crooked teeth impede correct tongue placement during speech, it can significantly impact the way a person articulates sound. For this reason, dental misalignment often leads to lisping, whistling sounds, and distortion of letter sounds. People with conditions such as gapped teeth, overbite, and overcrowding experience various speech difficulties that make it challenging for others to understand them clearly.
Poor Nutrient Absorption
Protruding upper or lower teeth can interfere with proper chewing. When food isn’t chewed into digestible portions before swallowing, the body won’t absorb the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Overlapping teeth create nooks and crannies that are difficult to navigate with a toothbrush and floss. As a result, these areas are ideal hiding places for bacteria that cause plaque formation, tooth decay, and bad breath.
Since crooked teeth make it easier for bacteria to form plaque, they’re vulnerable to decay and gum disease. Gum disease refers to a gum infection that can cause significant damage to the bone that supports the teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, it will eventually result in tooth loss.
Uneven Wear on Certain Teeth
Crooked teeth wear out faster because the misalignment causes some teeth to rub against the opposite ones while chewing. The constant friction will wear away the protective enamel and make the affected teeth more vulnerable to cracking and breakage.
Since people with crooked teeth aren’t proud of how their teeth look, they tend to smile less and stress more. In most cases, they’re uncomfortable each time they find themselves in social situations.
Are Traditional Metal Braces Necessary to Straighten Crooked Teeth?
Patients can achieve healthier, straighter, and more beautiful smiles without dealing with the wires and brackets of traditional metal braces. More discreet solutions such as ClearCorrect® aligners can address crooked and crowded teeth. They can also fix unwanted spaces or gaps between teeth.
Are You Looking for a Reliable Family Dentist in Cameron Park?
The team of dental professionals at Forest Ridge Dental Group is here to help you achieve the smile you want and work with you and your budget to make it possible. Expect to get personalized treatments that will make you and your family’s dental experience comfortable and anxiety-free.
Are you ready to receive the finest dental care in a comfortable and soothing atmosphere? Contact our office today to make an appointment!