While many children and adults have orthodontics (braces) to treat alignment and spacing issues, many more people have – or believe they have – problems with tooth crowding that goes untreated. Crowding can be caused by a number of different factors, and knowing the actual cause may impact the treatment options.
One of the common causes of tooth crowding is natural occurrence – so called mesial drift phenomenon, where your front teeth drift slowly to the center of the mouth. In the past, some dentists believed this was caused by the presence of wisdom teeth, crowding the front teeth from the rear of the mouth, though in reality many of the problems are due to simple insufficient space for the number of teeth as adults grow. Beyond mesial drift, other potential causes – such as weakened support due to periodontal disease, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting – can also influence teeth to move in directions that are undesirable, leading to misalignment and crowding issues.
While many patients see crowding as a cosmetic problem, the reality is that poorly aligned teeth are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, decay, and the patient is more likely to suffer from TMJ (jaw-joint) problems, as their irregular bite may cause strain on their jaw over time. For these reasons, fixing alignment should be considered more than simply a cosmetic procedure – correcting the alignment allows the patient to have better access to brush and floss, and their bite will be more level.
If you notice crowding in your front teeth, make a point of asking your dentist about options in your next regular checkup. There are a number of treatments available, and treating the crowding early can help prevent more serious problems from developing in the future.
To find out more about tooth crowding contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.
Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.