Tooth Crowding 

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Crowded teeth literally mean just that, when there are too many teeth pushed together in the mouth.  It is not completely understood why crowding occurs, genetics seeming to be the main culprit, but some theories are that a modern western diet creates surplus nutrients that are channeled through this means, that losing primary teeth early can cause secondary teeth to crowd, or that trauma affects the growth of the tooth roots.  The result is that teeth grow in unusual ways, twisted, displaced or impacted.  Crowding can cause many problems and is a condition which usually needs treating through dental and orthopedic means. 

Problems with Tooth Crowding

  • Crooked teeth growing to fit in around each other
  • Impacted teeth with nowhere to grow into
  • Malocclusion (bite)
  • Aesthetic problems
  • Hygiene problems
  • Increased risk of gum disease and dental decay

Treatment for Tooth Crowding

When you are around 7 years old X-rays can be taken to determine the growth of your teeth and whether there are any abnormalities.  At this age extraction of the primary teeth can be performed to then persuade strangely growing teeth into place. 
There are many varying degrees of crowding, and it very much depends on how bad yours is as to which treatment will be more effective. 

  • Extraction – If crowding is your problem then it is more than likely that you will have to have one or more teeth removed.  This is done by your dentist and shouldn’t cause you too much pain.
  • Braces – These push teeth back into their correct places and can create space for other teeth to move in to.  Although they might not look great, braces are the most common treatment for crowding and do produce a lifetime effect.
  • Palatal Expanders – These can widen the jaw and help create space for a severely crowded mouth.

If crowding is causing you problems then you ought to discuss your options with your dentist.