Crowded Teeth: What Causes Them and How They Can Be Fixed?

Crowded Teeth: What Causes Them and How They Can Be Fixed?

June 1, 2023

Crowded teeth, also known as dental crowding or overcrowded teeth, is a dental issue where there is insufficient space for teeth causing them to be misaligned or twisted. For a person with the right amount of space in their mouth, teeth grow in a proper alignment leading to a uniform smile. Although the teeth might be in contact, they do not affect each other’s proper rotation. The opposite can be said about a person with overcrowded teeth. What causes this, and how does the Emerson dentist treat this dental issue? Below you will find answers to these questions and more.

What Causes Crowded Teeth?

Different factors can lead to dental crowding. Here are some of them:

  • Cleft palate defect- if a baby is born with this defect, it can lead to having missing or extra teeth resulting in rotated, tilted, or crowded teeth.
  • Genetics- genetics can cause different dental problems. First, if you’re born with teeth larger than the jaw, the sprouting teeth will compete for space leading to overcrowding. Secondly, people born with a smaller jaw can also have crowded teeth. This is because there is insufficient space on the jaw bone for all teeth to fit perfectly.
  • Permanent teeth that haven’t erupted properly- if baby teeth have been retained for long, it can affect the eruption of the permanent teeth. Some of the permanent teeth erupt out of shape or alignment, leading to dental crowding.
  • Having a broken or missing tooth- missing a tooth can lead to dental complications. One of them is where the space left by the lost tooth leads to the shifting of the remaining teeth. The shifting of the teeth is caused by the chewing and biting forces, causing them to move out of alignment. The shifting leads to teeth overcrowding.

What Are the Types of Dental Crowding?

There are three main types of teeth crowding. The first one is hereditary. This means that you’re born with a jaw smaller than average and, therefore, teeth ‘compete’ for space. Fixations and poor oral practices cause the second type. For instance, if your child sucks their thumb beyond age 4 or uses a pacifier for too long, it can lead to dental malocclusion. Lastly, dental crowding can be caused when the wisdom teeth grow without sufficient space on the jawbone. This can lead to the displacement of the other teeth leading to overcrowding.

What Are the Signs of Dental Crowding?

  • Bleeding gums during flossing.
  • Trouble chewing or biting.
  • Pain in the jaw.
  • Crossbite.
  • Teeth overlapping each other.
  • Tooth discomfort when biting.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Difficulty when flossing and brushing.

If you notice any of the above signs, you should visit the dental clinic near you as soon as possible. Failure to do so can lead to various problems, for example:

  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction- if left untreated, surgery may be done to correct it.
  • Trouble when biting or chewing.
  • Periodontal disease- when left untreated, can damage the soft tissues around the teeth and lead to tooth loss.
  • Tooth cavities.
  • Lead to self-esteem issues as dental crowding affects the alignment of teeth leading to an unnatural smile and look.
  • Teeth and jaw aches.

Now that you know some of the problems caused by dental crowding, it is essential that you take your child to the orthodontist once they reach age 7. The orthodontist will examine the growth pattern of teeth and take early measures to prevent dental crowding from occurring.

How Is Dental Crowding Treated?

The treatment for overcrowded teeth depends on the patient’s age and the severity of the teeth crowding. Dental braces are the most common treatment for overcrowded teeth, especially in kids. The braces will realign the teeth and the jaw.

If you’re uncomfortable wearing traditional metallic braces, you can visit the Invisalign dentist for these clear aligners. They work just like traditional braces but are virtually invisible, so it will be difficult to notice that you’ve worn them.

Braces and Invisalign work by constantly applying pressure to the misaligned teeth. This continual pressure will lead to the shifting of teeth to their proper teeth, creating spaces between them, thereby treating dental crowding.


Teeth overcrowding can lead to various dental problems. So, if you notice any sign listed above, visit Emerson Family Dental for immediate treatment. Don’t let this dental issue prevent you from living a happy life with a natural smile.

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