Having a perfect smile isn’t something that always happens naturally. In fact, 9 in 10 people have overcrowded teeth. That ranges from slight crowding to severe problems.
Your orthodontist may have told you that you have crowded teeth. So what is overcrowding when it comes to your teeth? Read on to find out.
What Is Overcrowding?
Overcrowding is what happens when there isn’t enough room for your permanent teeth to be straight. It’s also known as teeth crowding.
The teeth come in crooked and they can overlap. This is known as malocclusion or misalignment.
There are three main types of crowded teeth, and it depends on the number of teeth and the size of the jaw.
One slightly rotated tooth is considered mild crowding. 2-3 overlapping teeth are considered moderate. Severe crowding happens when most of the teeth overlap.
What Causes This?
It can happen for a range of reasons. The main ones include the jaw being too small or the teeth being too large for the size of the jaw.
This depends on genetics. If your parents had problems with crowded teeth, then you probably inherited them.
It can also be caused by losing primary teeth early. That creates a gap and the teeth move in your jaw to fill it. This is why dentists can use bridges or dental implants to fill the gap.
You can also end up with crowded teeth if you don’t lose baby teeth properly. The permanent teeth can’t erupt until the baby teeth are extracted.
What Can You Do About Overcrowding?
There’s no way to treat overcrowding without visiting an orthodontist. Treatment depends on the severity of the crowding.
The most common treatment is using dental braces. These work on both teeth straightening and realigning the jaw.
You’ll visit your orthodontist to have adult metal braces fitted. You also need further visits every 4-8 weeks. The braces are tightened at intervals throughout the treatment.
This aligns both the teeth and the jaw. Treatment usually lasts between 18 months and two years.
Do I Need Treatment?
Dental overcrowding is very common. Realigning your teeth makes them look better but it also improves your bite.
This spreads the pressure across your teeth when you bite. That helps to avoid future problems, including jaw or joint problems. Uneven pressure can lead to issues like temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
Realigning your teeth can also make them easier to clean. This can help reduce gum disease and other related issues. You’ll be able to floss between teeth to remove plaque buildup.
See Your Orthodontist
Now you don’t need to wonder what is overcrowding anymore. It’s very common but also easy to treat.
Visit your orthodontist to discuss which treatment option will be best for you. The treatment will depend on your level of overcrowding.
Keen to improve other aspects of your health? Check out our lifestyle and health articles for more advice.