Crowded teeth can develop from bite malocclusions, thumb sucking, genetics, cleft palates, and poor oral hygiene practices. Other potential causes of overcrowded teeth include tooth loss due to trauma and advancing age due to changes in the shape of your jaw. Here are some oral health consequences of dental crowding and some effective treatment options.
Oral Health Consequences
Overcrowded teeth can raise your risk for dental decay and gum disease. When teeth are too close together you may be unable to brush away plaque before it turns into cavity-causing calculus. Flossing may also be difficult for people with overcrowded teeth, and some may be unable to insert dental floss between the tight spaces.
Another oral health consequence of dental crowding may be severe jaw pain and headaches. The risk of bleeding gums, enamel injury, and pulp infections may also arise if your teeth are overcrowded. If your teeth are overlapping or if you are unable to floss your teeth because they are too close together, make an appointment with your dentist. If warranted, they will refer you to an orthodontist for additional assessments such as panoramic imaging x-rays, and treatment.
If you have dental crowding, your orthodontist may recommend braces that will gradually shift your teeth back into place so that they no longer overlap. To augment the therapeutic effects of braces, you may need to have a couple of your molars extracted to make more room in your mouth. While braces are effective in managing dental crowding, they are not an immediate fix. It can take up to a couple of years before your teeth are back in proper alignment.
While you are wearing your braces, you will need to schedule periodic appointments with your orthodontist so that they can tighten your braces as your treatment progresses. Further, after your braces come off, you may need to wear a retainer to help ensure that your teeth do not shift out of place again. Your orthodontist will monitor the progression of your treatment and if they determine that your dental crowding is associated with severe jawbone problems, they may refer you to a specialist known as a maxillofacial surgeon.
If your teeth are overcrowded make an appointment with an orthodontist in your area. When dental crowding is diagnosed and treated early in its progression, you may be less likely to experience oral health consequences such as those noted above.