Crooked teeth are caused by either developmental problems, such as your lower jaw being bigger than your upper jaw, or local problems, such as sucking your thumb in children, or the tongue or lips putting excessive pressure on the teeth, in the case of an adult.
Development problems also include teeth that are too big for your jaw bones, baby teeth that do not fall out on time or permanent teeth that do not grow in straight. These problems cannot actually be prevented because they are controlled by our genes. However, you can certainly do a lot to discover such problems early, enhance the good qualities and minimize the effects of the bad ones.
In children, at the first sign of crooked teeth or a spacing problem or a habit such as tongue-thrusting or finger-sucking, consult with your dentist. While some parenting philosophies recommend a non-interventional approach to oral habits such as thumb- sucking, there is no question that, if it persists, most of the time it will not only create a big and unattractive underbite, it will also adversely affect the jaw development by forcing the upper jaw to grow out and the lower jaw to lag behind. Allowing such a problem to develop can create a situation that will take years of orthodontic treatment to correct.
Many times, even in younger children, some orthodontic treatment can be done to intercept some developmental problems, before they have a strong and long-lasting effect on the child’s jaw bones. This early, interceptive orthodontic treatment can help to lessen or prevent the need for more extensive treatment when the child is older.
The second general reason people develop crooked teeth is due to local factors in the person’s mouth, such as gum disease, bone loss, or the pressures of an uneven bite.
Gum disease can weaken and destroy the jaw bone that holds the teeth. As a result, the teeth can begin to loosen. Once the teeth are not held firmly in the jaw bone, the normal biting pressures or pressures from the lips and tongue can cause the teeth to drift apart, often creating spaces in-between the front teeth. Click here to see how gum disease causes bone loss, and return here to continue.
Excessive biting force from tooth clenching or grinding can also move teeth.
* Please note that we cannot guarantee that the solutions offered here are definitely applicable to your condition since we have not examined your mouth. However, if you know the solutions that are generally applied to dental problems, you will be much better informed and will likely make better decisions in your own dental health care.