Having crooked teeth and wanting to align them is the primary reason why people visit an orthodontist. Does that mean orthodontics is just about moving teeth into alignment, so they look pleasant? Well, not really! There are different types of teeth alignment problems; crowded teeth are one of the most common.
Crowding is a condition in which there is less space in the mouth for all teeth, as a result of which, they are not properly aligned and appear crowded. Crowding becomes apparent in childhood as the teeth begin erupting or have just erupted.
When teeth are well-aligned, they form a soft, pleasant curve and are in proper contact with each other. However, when the teeth are large, the jaws have less space or a there is a combination of both, teeth erupt behind or ahead of the other and may be tilted or rotated sideways to accommodate themselves in whatever space they find in the jaw. So, when teeth run out of space in the jaw, they result in crowding.
What Causes of Teeth Crowding?
With an understanding of how teeth end up becoming crowded, here are some reasons why this happens:
- Large teeth size
- Small jaw size
- A mismatch between the tooth and jaw size (often occurs when an individual inherits jaw size from one parent and the tooth size from the other)
- Eruption of permanent teeth before milk teeth shed
- Tongue-thrusting or thumb-sucking habits
- Mouth breathing habit
Why Should Crowded Teeth be Corrected?
Apart from the unpleasant aesthetics and poor facial profile, there are several other reasons why it is important to get crowding corrected:
- Correcting crowded teeth is easier and quicker in childhood and takes way longer when treatment is performed in adulthood
- Well-aligned teeth are essential for healthy teeth, gums, jaws and the jaw joint (TMJ). When your teeth are crowded, they lack adequate bone and gum support, resulting in food lodgement and subsequent tooth decay and gum infections.
- When teeth are crowded, they are not effectively performing biting or chewing functions. This affects an individual’s digestive system and overall health.
- Crowded teeth give rise to unbalanced forces, often putting pressure on the TMJ joint. When crowding is corrected, it relieves the strain and imbalance forces on the TMJ and reduces symptoms like headaches arising from compromised TMJ.
- Crowded teeth make maintaining good oral hygiene challenging and time-consuming. When your teeth are crowded, your toothbrush and floss cannot reach all the nooks and corners of your mouth, resulting in bad breath, tooth cavities, bleeding and infected gums. Sometimes, the infection reaches the underlying bone, resulting in mobile teeth.
- If tooth crowding is left untreated, it may eventually lead to the loss of teeth.
- Crowded teeth can harm an individual’s self-confidence and mental well-being.
How is Teeth Crowding Corrected?
The next question most of you must be thinking at this point is, “How are crowded teeth corrected?” Well, treatment options for crowded teeth depend upon many factors, including:
- Age of the individual
- Cause of crowding
- Severity of crowding
The best time to correct crowded teeth is during childhood or when the crowding just begins. Commonly used treatment options for teeth crowding include:
- Removable retainers
These customised, removable devices comprise an acrylic plate that rests on the palate or below your tongue and a wire that goes on the teeth. In every appointment, the orthodontist tightens the wire to apply force on the crowded teeth and move them into alignment. Removable retainers are a great option for mild cases of crowding.
- Traditional braces
Traditional metal, ceramic and self-ligating braces are durable and versatile and can be used to treat all types of crowding. Lingual braces may be used, but not in all crowding cases. All these fixed braces options effectively correct crowding in adults and children.
These are the most advanced and modern braces to treat orthodontic issues like crowding. Also called invisible braces, clear aligners are transparent trays made from superior-quality medical-grade plastic and customised for each individual. When worn on upper and lower teeth, they apply forces and move teeth into their new positions.
Veneers are not an orthodontic measure of treating tooth crowding but may be used when the individual requires a quick fix for mild crowding. This option is not always recommended as veneers require teeth shaping and are not permanent solutions like orthodontics.
With brands like SD Align that deliver affordable clear aligners in all cities and towns of India, getting your crowded teeth treated is easy, convenient and affordable. After your intraoral scan, you will receive your aligner trays in around ten days.
Are you struggling with crowded teeth? Contact our experts at your nearest Sabka Dentist clinic today!