Ever wondered what really causes crooked teeth? Throughout time different reasons have been provided – some completely ridiculous and others based on old wives’ tales.
For example, in the 1940s medical students were taught that racial mixing caused crooked teeth. While the theory of racial mixing being the root of crooked teeth may sound completely absurd to us now, it was a widely held belief in the 1940s. It has since been disproven.
Then there is the old wives’ tale that if you pull out a child’s loose baby tooth, the permanent tooth will grow in crooked. Of course, there is no factual basis to this old wives’ tale.
So what is the real truth about what causes crooked teeth? “In the past few decades, we have determined several main causes to crooked teeth, which the proper medical term is teeth-maxillary abnormalities,” said Dr. Karotkin of Advance Orthodontics in Houston. Below are five major causes of crooked teeth.
The cause of crooked teeth can often be traced back to bad oral habits in childhood. Habits such as thumb sucking, holding foreign objects with one’s teeth, and continual biting or sucking of the lips can lead to crooked teeth (sometimes referred to as misaligned bite). It is common for young children to develop these avoidable habits so parents need to be aware.
Inherited face abnormalities, such as an enlarged lower jaw, may also be the cause for crooked teeth. It is not uncommon for an enlarged lower jaw to become an aesthetic problem. Orthognathic surgery is usually the prescription for this inherited disorder if the problem is too pronounced.
Loss of Teeth
When a tooth is loose, the neighboring teeth slope in the direction of the gap resulting from the loss. Dentists often observe misaligned bites in the case of tooth loss.
So what is mouth breathing? Normally when the tongue is at rest, it is supposed to lay inside the upper teeth. In this position the tip of the tongue is near the palate. This position allows the tongue to compensate for the pressure that the cheeks place on the teeth from the outside. When you breathe through your mouth, the tongue is pushed down to the lower teeth and is unable to compensate for the pressure from the checks. The result of mouth breathing is that the upper teeth gradually take the shape of a triangle.
Those who do a lot of high impact physical activity, such as professional athletes and dancers, may be more inclined to mouth breathing and therefore, more susceptible to crooked teeth. In addition, allergies have been linked to causing mouth breathing.
Bruxism is the periodical contraction of the muscles that control the lateral movement of the jaw while sleeping coupled with teeth grinding and lockjaw. This disorder also surfaces after extensive restorative work on the oral cavity and teeth crowning.
Although not as common as the aforementioned, the following has been known to cause crooked teeth.
• Trauma to the jaw
• Genetic deformities of facial bones
• Diseases of the gums
• Dental treatment mishaps
While many embrace their crooked smiles, such as celebrities Kiera Knightly and Jewel, it is important to note that untreated, crooked teeth can worsen over time. Crooked teeth are also difficult to clean, which increases the risk of infections and cavities. Early intervention is always recommended.
The team at Advance Orthondontics in Houston specializes in creating dream worthy smiles. The offer traditional braces, clear braces, Invisalign and more. Visit their Google+ page to learn more.