Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – Many of us face the prospect of needing orthodontic treatment at some point in our lives. But what causes crooked teeth to begin with, and can it ever be prevented?
“For some people, crooked teeth is an inherited trait, just as blue eyes or brown hair are,” says your doctor, a Minneapolis/St. Paul orthodontist. “Genetics is actually the most frequent cause of overbites, underbites and crooked teeth. If you fall into that category, there isn’t much you can to other than seek out orthodontic treatment.”
Other common causes of crooked teeth include:
- Earlier than normal loss of baby teeth – If baby teeth don’t fall out in their proper order, or fall out too soon, this can cause the permanent teeth to erupt in improper places.
- Improper fit of dental restorations – Ill-fitting restorations can cause teeth to shift and create a bad bite.
- Gingivitis – Gum disease is the number one cause of lost teeth in adults. Gum disease can cause teeth to shift, creating alignment and bite problems.
- Injury or disease – Jaw injuries or disease, such as mouth or jaw tumors, can negatively affect tooth alignment.
- Shape of the mouth or jaw – Some patients simply have mouths or jaws that are too small to adequately hold the teeth without crowding them. Some patients also may have a discrepancy in jaw sizes, resulting in misalignment.
- Bad habits – Habits such as extended pacifier use or thumbsucking, or tongue thrust, can create alignment problems.
It is important that patients who exhibit crooked teeth or misaligned bites seek out orthodontic treatment, whether it be standard metal braces or a more discrete option such as Invisalign. Misaligned bites and crooked teeth can cause a host of problems, such as problems chewing and speaking. Misaligned bites place abnormal pressure on the teeth, which can increase the risk of teeth breaking or chipping. Crooked teeth are also harder to keep clean, which increases a patient’s risk of developing gum disease or decay.
“Repairing crooked teeth and misaligned bites can improve your dental health and prevent you from having to spend extra time in your dentist’s chair,” says your doctor. “But that’s not all, a nice smile can increase your confidence and help you feel better about yourself.”
If you think you may have a misaligned bite, or don’t like the look of your crooked or crowded teeth, schedule a free consultation with your doctor today. After a thorough examination, your doctor will craft a treatment plan that will result in a beautifully healthy and ideally functioning smile that, with proper care, will last a lifetime.
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