Teeth crowding – what is it? How to treat it?

Stłoczenie zębów – co to jest? Jak leczyć?

Teeth crowding is a problem with a self-explanatory name. ‘Crowded teeth’ occur quite often. They are usually relatively easy to manage, especially if the visit to the orthodontist occurs relatively quickly. On the other hand, a serious problem arises when many people underestimate this issue, risking much more than they might think.

What is tooth crowding?

Teeth crowding is referred to when the teeth do not fit in the dental arch. Their position is too tight, which causes the teeth to become distorted, and sometimes the jaw bones may also be weakened. Teeth crowding is considered an independent disease entity, but it should be emphasized that the problem of crowded teeth can develop into a form in which the unsightly appearance will only be a side problem.

Types of tooth crowding

  • Primary crowding (genetically determined, sometimes described as primary). The mechanism is quite obvious: these kinds of crowding occur if large teeth do not have the physical ability to fit into a relatively small dental arch.
  • Secondary tooth crowding. It occurs when the first permanent molars can erupt in place of prematurely removed deciduous teeth. They will move forward on their own, thus taking the place of others.
  • Late (tertiary) crowding. They appear with a full set of permanent teeth when the so-called residual bone growth occurs. Wisdom teeth were once thought to be the cause, but this theory has not been confirmed. Tertiary crowding is relatively rare.

How to recognize tooth crowding?

Unnaturally crooked teeth are a sign of dental crowding. When there is little space in the dental arch, the teeth overlap, aligning at the wrong angle. They can overlap, lean forward or backward, which will cause several aesthetic defects. In some cases, the tooth may even rotate around a vertical axis.

Symptoms of tooth crowding

Teeth crowding can manifest in abnormal swallowing, impaired vocal function, or breathing problems (mouth breathing). Aesthetic changes within the craniofacial are also visible, as crowded teeth disturb the symmetry of the face.

Causes of teeth crowding

Teeth crowding is an evolutionary change affecting the entire population, so the genetic component plays a significant role in its formation. However, this applies primarily to primary crowding. Other reasons are also worth mentioning:

  • too rapid extraction of canine or deciduous molars, which promotes incorrect eruption of the distal molars of the permanent tooth arch;
  • residual mandibular hyperplasia;
  • delayed eruption of wisdom teeth (and sometimes – their eruption at all, regardless of time).

To a lesser extent, childhood habits may be responsible for tooth crowding. Maintaining an infant swallowing pattern (there is no clear answer as to whether it is only the result or a cause of teeth crowding) or thumb sucking.

Consequences of untreated tooth crowding

Tooth crowding, both primary crowding and secondary crowding, can cause numerous problems in the oral cavity.

  • Persistent aesthetic defect.
  • They can increase the risk of dental caries and accelerate its transmission between teeth, as crowding of teeth definitely makes it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • They can indirectly (by developing incorrect habits) cause another malocclusion.
  • Improper alignment of teeth can lead to bone loss or weakening as they are not subjected to proper functional load.
  • In extreme cases, the teeth may become loose and easily fall out.
  • Teeth crowding results in speech impediments, breathing problems, or even an increased risk of small sores occurrence in the mouth.

Teeth crowding – treatment

  • The basic method of treating crowded teeth is to correct their position with orthodontic braces. In the case of children, they can be removable orthodontic braces, in adults they can be fixed.
  • In certain cases, a special space maintainer can be used to prevent permanent teeth from moving.
  • In some cases, it is necessary to remove some teeth so that others can physically fit on the dental arch.
  • Small teeth crowding can be treated by stripping (reduction) or corrective deflection, and slightly larger by distalization (jaw expansion, i.e. shifting the lateral parts of the dental arch backward).

Cheer up! We know how to help you!

Regardless of the type of malocclusion and its extent, it can effectively take away the desire to smile. We will help you deal with the problem of overlapping teeth. We will choose removable or fixed braces, carry out the procedure of expansion of the dental arch, and remove the teeth, if necessary. In a word, we will do everything to take care of the health of the oral cavity. Book a consultation and we will prepare an extensive treatment plan that will restore a beautiful smile on your face.