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Causes and treatment of crooked teeth Causes and treatment of crooked teeth

Causes and treatment of crooked teeth

Crooked and misaligned teeth are common orthodontic issues in both adults and children. If you are one of those persons with naturally crooked teeth, you can easily undergo an orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.

Most people have a unique look, resulting in fromslightly misaligned teeth. Your smile may be dazzling regardless of how your teeth are, and it also adds to your personality, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to straighten your teeth, especially when you are not at risk of other dental issues.

However, if your crooked teeth affect your self-confidence, makes you unhappy or presents other issues like speech difficulties, you could have them straightened.

This write-up contains information about the causes of crooked teeth, health problems that may arise from having crooked teeth, and the different treatment options for crooked teeth.

What is the cause of crooked teeth?

Permanent and baby teeth could erupt in a crooked position, or they could gradually become crooked teeth. Baby teeth in children could become crooked because the teeth may be small to fit the gum space meant for them.

Children could also have crooked teeth from some prolonged habits like thumb or pacifier sucking. These habits tend to push the teeth out and make them crooked. Genetics and heredity are also factors that could cause crooked teeth.

A child with crooked baby teeth may not have crooked permanent teeth, but if the baby teeth are crowded, the permanent teeth may also grow crowded. Tooth decay or trauma to a child’s mouth could make some teeth fall out earlier than they should, and this makes the permanent teeth erupt in a misaligned position.

The following issues could also cause baby and permanent teeth to become crooked.

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Jaw size

Our modern diet consists mostly of soft and processed foods that require less chewing. This type of food is quite different from what our ancestors had in the past.

The change in diet is believed by scientists to have altered the size of the jaw, making it shorter and smaller. This is the likely cause of crooked, misaligned, and crowded teeth.

Poor myofunctional habits

Repetitive behaviours involving the muscles or facial function are known as myofunctional habits. These habits include the following.

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Excessive use of bottles or pacifier
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting

Malocclusion (misaligned jaw)

When you close your mouth, the upper teeth should fit slightly in front of the lower teeth, and the points of the molars on the upper arch should fit into the groves of the lower molar. If this is not the case with you, a malocclusion occurs.

The common misalignments people have includes underbites and overbites. If you have an overbite, the front teeth on the upper arch will protrude over the lower front teeth, but if it is an underbite, the lower front teeth protrude further than the upper front teeth.

Malocclusion may also occur from poor myofunctional habits.

Genetics and heredity

If either or both your parents have crooked or crowded teeth, you may likely develop dental problems. You can also inherit an underbite or overbite from one of your parents.

Poor dental care

If you do not take care of your teeth properly and fail to attend the regular dental check-up with your dentist, you may have conditions like cavities or gum disease which could cause crooked teeth, and other dental issues if left untreated.

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Poor nutrition

Eating unbalanced diets can lead to malnutrition, poor dental development and other dental issues like tooth decay which are risk factors for crooked teeth.

Facial injury

If you hit your mouth or face against a hard object, it could displace your teeth, which leads to crooked teeth.

Issues resulting from crooked teeth

Sometimes, having crooked teeth affect the quality of one’s life. It may make chewing difficult and result in pain while eating.

Crooked teeth may lead to the following dental health issues.

  • Periodontal diseases

Cleaning the teeth when they are crooked may be difficult because you may not get the brush and floss to all corners of the teeth. This could lead to gum disease and tooth decay, which could cause periodontitis if left untreated. Periodontitis is a severe infection which damages the teeth and bones.

  • Digestion and chewing difficulties

If you have crooked teeth, you may find it difficult to chew correctly, and this could cause issues in the digestion process.

  • Excess wear

Having crooked teeth can lead to excess wearing and tearing down of the teeth, jaw muscles, gums and teeth. This may result in jaw pain, chronic headaches, temporomandibular joint disorder, and cracked teeth.

  • Speech difficulties

Misaligned and crooked teeth alter the articulation of some sounds, which leads to speech problems.

  • Self-esteem

If you are not satisfied with your appearance and smile, it could lead to social avoidance and self-esteem issues.

Should I straighten my crooked teeth?

Straightening your crooked teeth is a decision only you can make. Some peoples may not be able to straighten their teeth due to lack of dental health insurance or money to pay out of their pocket for the treatment. For some others, other health issues may be the limiting factor.

If you always feel self-conscious because of how your teeth look, you could straighten them for this reason, but sometimes, the little imperfections we have makes us unique.

What option do I have to straighten my teeth?

If you want to straighten your teeth, there are different options you can discuss with your orthodontist or dentist. You may decide to get braces as they are a good treatment option for both adults and children if the gums and teeth are healthy enough to hold the braces.

Braces are more suitable for children because their jaws are still malleable. The bone and gum tissues of children are also flexible and easy to correct. Treatment with braces can last for 2 – 3 years depending on the severity of your misalignment and the type of brace you decide to use.

Surgery to straighten the teeth is also another option to consider if you want to straighten your teeth. Teeth straightening surgery usually takes less time.

The following are different braces options available to straighten your teeth.

  • Metal braces

Fixed metal braces consist of flexible wires, bracket and bands that the orthodontist permanently attaches to the teeth throughout the treatment. Metal braces are usually the most suitable option for people with complex misalignments. In some cases, the orthodontist offers a headgear, which will be worn at night for the braces to be more effective.

Metal braces were the only available type of brace in the past, and the metals were bigger and more obvious, but metal braces have advanced to have less metal and smaller wires. Metal braces are also more comfortable than the previous types. You could customise your braces by using rubber bands of different colours.

The cost of metal braces ranges from £2000 – £5000, but this depends on your location, the work needed, and insurance coverage.

  • Ceramic braces

Metal braces and ceramic braces are similar, but they consist of tooth-coloured archwires and brackets instead of metal. This makes them less conspicuous compared to metal braces.

The disadvantage of getting ceramic braces is that they break and get stained easily. You can get ceramic braces between £2500 - £5500, depending on your insurance plan, the severity of your misalignment, and location.

  • Invisible braces

Invisalign is a type of invisible braces used by adults and teens to straighten their teeth. Invisalign treatment involves custom-made plastic clear aligners, worn on the teeth to move them to their right position gradually. Invisalign aligners are removable, and you need to switch out each set of aligners after every two weeks. You can use Invisalign aligners to correct mild to moderate misalignments.

Treatment with invisible braces may last longer than treatment with traditional braces. They cost between £2500 - £6500, depending on your location, severity of the misalignment, and insurance coverage.

To make the treatment affordable, most orthodontists offer payment plans where you can pay monthly for a specific number of months.

  • Lingual braces

The orthodontist places lingual braces on the lingual part of the mouth (the side of the teeth facing the tongue). They are another type of invisible braces, but similar to the traditional metal braces.

Some people may not be suitable for lingual braces, and they are the most expensive type of brace. They cost between £3500 - £10000. Another downside of lingual braces is that they are difficult to clean and maintain, and may not be suitable for severe cases of misalignments. The duration of treatment with lingual braces takes longer than other types of braces.

Teeth-straightening surgery

Teeth straightening surgery helps you reduce the time needed for braces to straighten the teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend minor teeth surgery to help reposition your gums and bones, so, they can hold the teeth.

You may need to undergo more complicated surgery to realign the jaw. This type of surgery is known as orthognathic surgery, and it may be suitable for people with chewing or speech difficulties.

The cost of teeth-straightening surgery will depend on the types of surgery you need, your insurance coverage, and location.

What you should expect when you see an orthodontist or dentist

When you have dental issues like crooked or misaligned teeth, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for treatment. The orthodontist will examine your teeth, jaw, bite, and mouth to determine the right treatment for you.

During the consultation, your orthodontist will ask about the symptoms you experience like physical discomfort while chewing or popping sound when you close or open your mouth. The orthodontist will take your teeth impressions and mouth x-rays.

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Most persons have crooked teeth and straightening the crooked teeth is possible, but you do not have to undergo any treatment if your teeth do not cause discomfort or pose any risk for other dental issues.

If you decide to correct your crooked teeth, you can contact Adult Braces London on 020 31373179 to book an appointment with an orthodontist for your treatment.

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