Teeth Crowding Causes, Treatment, Before and After

Teeth Crowding Meaning

Crowding of the teeth is a common problem encountered at various stages of development of the teeth. The severity of crowding may vary depending on various factors. In general crowding of teeth is caused due discrepancies in the size of the jaws and size of the teeth. Larger sized teeth with small sized jaws to accommodate them, lead to clinical crowding of the teeth. Crowding may be present as a normal part of developing dentition and may be self correcting. Crowding when the permanent teeth erupts requires orthodontic attention.

Teeth Crowding Symptoms

Tooth crowding can be detected on visual inspection of the dental arches. Anterior (frontal) crowding may be seen on exposure of the teeth in activities such as smiling. The teeth appear to be overlapping each other. The normal alignment of the dental arch is affected and some teeth are tipped inwards while some are tipped outwards to accommodate all the teeth within the dental arch.

Crowding in may be seen in early period of mixed dentition (combination of milk and permanent teeth present). In early stages of mix dentition the permanent teeth such as central incisors erupt in the oral cavity. The permanent teeth are significantly larger in size as compared to their milk teeth that were lost and therefore some amount of crowding is experienced after their eruption.

In cases of crowding seen in adults other dental problems may be noticed. The malalignment of the tooth makes it more susceptible to accumulation of foods, debris and dental plaque. This leads to development of periodontal problems such as localized gingivitis and receding gums.

Teeth Crowding Causes

Tooth size and the size of the jaws are genetically determined as these are inherited traits passed down from both parents to their children. Individual inheritance of genes for large sized teeth and small sized jaws are more likely to leads to dental crowding due to lack of space within the jaws. This is a rather simplistic, but accurate explanation for the phenomenon known as arch length tooth size discrepancy which causes dental crowding.

Other factors leading to dental crowding are :

  • Presence of extra tooth/teeth (supernumerary teeth)
  • Prolonged retention of the milk teeth leading to difficulties in eruption of permanent teeth .The permanent tooth tends to erupt either behind or ahead of the deciduous tooth leading to malalignment and crowding.
  • Certain syndromes associated with large sized teeth (macrodontia and tarodontism).
  • Early or premature loss of the milk teeth leading to drifting of the adjacent teeth into the extraction space.
  • Unerupted third molars (wisdom teeth).

Treatment for Teeth Crowding

The treatment of crowding depends upon age of an individual and severity of crowding. Mild forms of crowding can be treated with gaining space by methods such as proximal stripping of the tooth structure and derotation of the teeth. Distalization of molars, proclination of anterior teeth and uprighting of molars is also one of the treatment choices available.

In young individuals preventive methods like uses of space maintainers, space regainers and serial extractions can be employed. Removable orthodontic appliances such as coil springs, canine retractors and labial bows can be used to treat mild forms of crowding. Fixed orthodontic mechanotherapy can also be used to treat crowding. It comprises of multi-looped arch wires or resilient nickel-titanium wires to correct crowding.

Before and After Pictures (Video)

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