Our teeth are one of the most noticeable and important features on our faces. That’s why it’s important to take care of them and keep them healthy. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with perfect teeth. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, around 75% of Americans have some form of misaligned teeth.
Although having misaligned teeth may not impact your health directly, it can lead to a number of problems down the line if left untreated. Here’s what you need to know about misaligned teeth and how to take care of them.
What are Misaligned Teeth?
Misaligned teeth refer to teeth that are not in their proper place. This can mean that they’re crooked, overcrowded, or gapped. In some cases, the misalignment may be so severe that it impacts your bite.
What Causes of Misaligned Teeth
There are a number of factors that can contribute to misaligned teeth, including:
Genetics can be a cause of misaligned teeth because it’s often passed down from parents to children. If your parents or grandparents had misaligned teeth, you’re more likely to have them as well.
An injury to the face or jaw can cause misaligned teeth. This is especially true if the injury results in the loss of a tooth.
Tongue thrusting is a condition where the tongue pushes against the teeth when swallowing. This can cause the teeth to become misaligned over time.
Like tongue thrusting, thumb sucking can also cause the teeth to become misaligned. This is especially common in young children who suck their thumbs.
Pacifier use can also lead to misaligned teeth. This is because the sucking motion puts pressure on the teeth, which can cause them to become misaligned over time.
Early or late loss of baby teeth
If baby teeth are lost too early, it can cause the remaining teeth to shift and become misaligned. The same is true if baby teeth are not lost early enough.
Symptoms of misaligned teeth
There are symptoms you can check for to see if you have misaligned teeth.
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps in between teeth
- Misaligned jaws
- Impacted teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Speech problems
- Bad bite
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a dentist so they can diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan.
Types of Teeth Misalignment
There are different types of teeth misalignment, such as:
Overbiting is also known as “class II malocclusion”. This is when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It can be caused by genetics, tongue thrusting, or thumb sucking.
Underbiting is also known as “class III malocclusion”. This is when the lower teeth bite in front of the upper teeth. It can be caused by genetics, misaligned jaws, or an early loss of baby teeth.
Crossbite is a type of misalignment where the upper and lower teeth don’t line up properly when you bite down. This can lead to uneven wear on the teeth and jaw problems down the road.
An open bite is a type of misalignment where there’s a gap between the upper and lower teeth when you bite down. It can be caused by tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, or an early loss of baby teeth.
A crowded tooth is a type of misalignment where there’s not enough room for all the teeth in the mouth. This can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Spacing is a type of misalignment where there are gaps between the teeth. This can be caused by thumb sucking, early loss of baby teeth, or late eruption of adult teeth.
Impacted teeth are those that have not erupted through the gums properly. They can be caused by genetics, overcrowding, or the early loss of baby teeth.
Misaligned Teeth Treatments
The treatment for misaligned teeth will depend on the severity of the problem. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary. However, these are some treatments you can get for misaligned teeth:
Metal braces are the most common treatment for misaligned teeth. It works by using metal brackets and wires to gradually move the teeth into place.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces, but they use clear or tooth-colored brackets instead of metal ones. This makes them less noticeable than metal braces.
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that is virtually invisible. It works by gradually shifting the teeth into place using a series of clear, removable trays.
Porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are bonded to the front of the teeth. They can be used to cover up stained, chipped, or crooked teeth.
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. They are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
How Long Will It Take to Fix Misaligned Teeth?
The amount of time it will take to fix misaligned teeth will depend on the severity of the problem and the treatment being used. In most cases, it will take several months to a year to see results.
According to dentists, taking care of your oral health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. This means regular check-ups and cleanings, as well as brushing and flossing daily.
Have Your Misaligned Teeth Checked today!
If you suspect you may have misaligned teeth, the best thing to do is to see a dentist so they can diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you.
We at Brownstone Dental, want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams! Our dental experts are passionate about giving you the best possible care. If you have misaligned teeth, we can diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!