When do people seek orthodontic treatment? Well, of course, to get their teeth straightened, isn’t it? Individuals who have crooked teeth want to get them well-aligned or straight so that they are pleasant to look at. But, that’s not what all orthodontic treatments are about. There are many different types of malocclusions or malalignment problems that people suffer from. One of the most common dental malalignment problems is crowding.
Crowding, as the name suggests, is a condition where there is little space in the oral cavity and the teeth are therefore not aligned properly due to lack of space and appear crowded. The ideal time to treat crowding is during childhood, as the permanent teeth are erupting or have just erupted.
In a well-aligned dentition, the teeth are in contact with each other and each tooth has its own space. However, when the teeth are large or the space in the jaw is less, they tend to erupt one above the other, one behind or in front of the other, tilted, sideways and wherever and however they can find space. Teeth essentially run out of space and result in crowding.
Top Causes of Crowding in Teeth
Why do teeth run out of space in the jaw? Aren’t the jaws and teeth supposed to have figured it out earlier? Well, no! That’s not how it works. There are many reasons that cause crowding of teeth in the mouth:
- Large teeth size
- Small jaw size
- Disharmony between tooth and jaw size
- The simultaneous eruption of the permanent teeth before the milk teeth are shed off
- Tongue-thrust habit
- Mouth breathing habit
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Why Should Crowding be Treated?
Crowded teeth are unpleasant to look at. But, that is not the only thing wrong with crowded teeth. If teeth crowding is left untreated, it can lead to a host of dental problems, both short term, and long term.
- If crowding is not corrected earlier on, especially as it occurs during childhood, the treatment of the condition takes much longer later on in life
- Well-aligned teeth are required for the healthy functioning of the teeth, gums, jaws, and the TM Joint. However, when there is crowding, most crowded teeth lack proper bone and gum support. When crowding is corrected, the teeth are moved into their correct positions and this increases their functionality and life in the mouth.
- When teeth are crowded, they are not effectively performing their function of biting and chewing. This affects not only the teeth but also impacts the individual’s digestive system. When crowding is corrected and the proper alignment of teeth achieved, it improves chewing and reduces problems like poor digestion
- When there is a malocclusion, it inadvertently puts pressure on the TM Joint. When crowding is corrected, it improves the health and durability of the joint and reduces severe headaches that accompany a compromised TM joint.
- When teeth are crowded, there is usually poor dental hygiene as the toothbrushes are unable to get into the nooks and corners between the crowded teeth. This leads to tooth decay, swelling and infection of the gums, and bad breath. Once the crowding is resolved, the individual is able to maintain better oral hygiene by brushing and flossing.
- If tooth crowding is left untreated, it can cause gum and bone diseases, which loosens teeth and eventually lead to loss of teeth.
- Leaving crowded teeth untreated has a significant impact on an individual’s confidence. He/she tends to become conscious or a target for bullies, which has its effects on their mental well being.
Also Read: How to Wear Clear Aligners
How to Treat Crowding?
Now that we have understood the importance of treating crowding, the next question is “How is crowding treated?”. Well, the treatment options and plans depend largely upon the age of the patient, the cause of the crowding and the severity of crowding. The best time to treat crowding, as we saw earlier, is during childhood. Best ways to treat teeth crowding are:
- Retainers: These are custom-made devices that are fabricated y taking measurements of the patient’s upper and lower jaw and teeth. The orthodontist makes changes at every appointment that cause the teeth to align properly. This treatment option is great for mild cases of crowding.
- Braces: This is probably the most common way to treat crowding of teeth. Different types of braces can be used to treat crowing– traditional metallic, ceramic, and lingual braces. These can be used in adults and children.
- Clear Aligners: This is a modern alternative to braces and the best way to treat malalignment problems like crowding. These invisible braces are available as trays that need to be worn on the upper and lower teeth in order to bring about movement of the teeth into their desired position. The best clear aligner brand in India today is 32 Watts that is based within the country and delivers your first set of trays within 5 days of taking measurements.
- Veneers: This is not an orthodontic method and involves cutting and shaping of teeth in order to align them. This is done in only a few cases where orthodontics is not possible.
Do you have crowded teeth? Contact our team of orthodontists today to book your consultation right away!
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