How Can I Fix Excessive Dental Crowding?

Dental crowding is a very common oral problem and the reason why many people are referred to an orthodontist during their lifetime. Dental crowding is a type of malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) that is characterized by the teeth overlapping one another. Not only does it mean that your smile might not be as straight and attractive as you would like, but it can also affect your oral health. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which dental crowding can be fixed. Let’s find out more. 

 

 

What causes dental crowding?

 

 

Just like when we are babies, our adult teeth all start to come in at different times. This means that you may not realize that you are at risk of overcrowding until most of your adult teeth have erupted. 

 

There are a number of reasons why you may develop dental crowding.

 

Your jaw is small. A small jawbone may be too small to accommodate a full set of adult teeth. 

 

Your teeth are too large. Teeth aren’t all the same shape and size and can vary between individuals too. If you have particularly large teeth, there may not be enough space to fit them all into your jaw.  

 

Hyperdontia. An uncommon condition, hyperdontia occurs when someone develops too many teeth. 

 

Trauma to the mouth/jaw. Experiencing an injury that affects your mouth/jaw can affect the growth and development of teeth and cause them to become misaligned and overcrowded. 

 

Birth defect/illness. Each year, many people are born with conditions that can affect their teeth. Cleft Lip is one common medical condition that can cause the teeth to become crooked. 

 

 

Why it’s important to correct dental crowding

 

 

The biggest inconvenience of dental crowding is that it can make it harder to brush and floss your teeth properly. Overlapping can create small gaps that are impossible to reach with a toothbrush or floss, and it’s here that decay and gum disease can start to develop. Straighter teeth are much easier to keep clean and maintain great oral health with. 

 

Overcrowded teeth can look a little unsightly too, and many people choose to get treatment because they want to enjoy a perfectly straight smile. 

 

 

How to fix dental crowding

 

 

Fortunately, there are a few options for fixing dental crowding. 

 

Orthodontic braces. The most common treatment recommended for dental crowding is orthodontic braces. Comprised of metal, ceramic or acrylic brackets and wires, these are worn on the teeth and apply gentle pressure onto the teeth to encourage them to move position. Regular adjustments are needed to guide the teeth, and the entire treatment can take anywhere from 12-24 months depending on how much your teeth need to be adjusted. Orthodontic braces can’t be taken out yourself, and you’ll need to adjust your diet and take extra special care when brushing your teeth while wearing them. 

 

Clear aligners. A popular alternative or orthodontic braces, clear aligners are a removable solution that sit over the top of the teeth like retainers do. They are provided in a custom-designed series that also applies gentle force to the teeth to get them to move. Since they are removable, you can eat what you like and clean your teeth normally. However, you do need to make sure that you wear them for the 22 hours per day that is recommended, otherwise your treatment plan may fall out of schedule. 

 

Extraction. In some cases, where there are simply too many teeth for an orthodontic solution alone to be successful, your oral surgeon may recommend that you have one or more teeth extracted before you move onto braces or clear aligners. 

 

If you would like more advice on fixing dental crowding, or to make an appointment, please visit Weston Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and our dedicated dental team. Call at (954) 507-6441 to schedule an appointment.

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