There are many factors, which influence the alignment of the teeth and crooked teeth can arise from a lack of space in the jaw, bad habits during childhood (such as sucking the thumb) and premature loss of the baby teeth, to genetics and a difference in the size of the upper and lower jaws. In most cases, misaligned teeth are detected at an early age and orthodontic treatment is recommended during the teenage years.
What are the implications of crooked teeth?
Many people start with aesthetics when it comes to orthodontic issues, but the implications of such problems can be much more extensive than creating an unattractive or uneven smile. In fact, crooked teeth can increase the risk of oral disease, as well as impairing speech and affecting your ability to chew food properly.
Crooked teeth can be problematic for oral health because they are difficult to clean and this means that there is a risk of bacteria building up in the mouth. If some of the tooth is covered by another tooth or the angle of the tooth makes cleaning some of the surfaces impossible, there is a risk that bacteria will gather in this area. If bacteria are left to collect in the mouth, there is a good chance that eventually they will join forces with food debris to form plaque.
Plaque is a sticky film, which is found on the teeth and along the gum line; it is easy to remove with a brush, but if it is left in the mouth, it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar is yellow or brown in colour and it cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. Plaque is the most common cause of gum disease and dental cavities.
Crooked teeth can also contribute to aches and pains and in the jaw and the muscles, which control the movement of the mouth, as the teeth have to work harder to carry out everyday functions, such as biting and grinding food.
Crooked teeth may make life more difficult when it comes to chewing food and if you are not able to chew your food properly, this can have consequences for digestion. Chewing is a really important process because it breaks food down into manageable pieces, so that it can move along the digestive system easily. If food is not chewed properly, this can make it more difficult for the body to digest it and this can cause stomach upset and changes in bowel habits.
Your teeth play a really important role in the formation of different sounds and if you have orthodontic issues you may find that you have trouble pronouncing specific sounds. Orthodontic treatment can help to make speech clearer, which may also have benefits for confidence. Braces come in many different forms nowadays such as the Inman aligner, or Damon Braces and they can straighten the teeth discreetly.
Many people who have misaligned teeth feel self-conscious when they smile or greet people because their teeth tend to look less attractive. Crooked, overlapping and crowded teeth can look unhealthy and awkward and if you’re not happy with the way you look, this is likely to affect your confidence. Straightening the teeth makes the smile look more balanced, healthier and more aesthetically pleasing and it usually has a really positive effect on self-esteem.