What Causes Crooked Teeth?Throughout most of history, up until the Industrial Revolution, the majority of humans had straight teeth. Crooked teeth are somewhat of a modern epidemic, but what causes them?
GeneticsGenetics can play a role, although there’s no single gene that causes dental deformities. Having parents with crooked teeth doesn’t guarantee you’ll have crooked teeth. But it can increase the chances of other dental problems that lead to misaligned teeth. Some studies have found that overbites and underbites are passed down through the family. These can lead to misalignment, tooth crowding, or extra teeth. Your genetics also impact your jaw size, which can also cause overcrowding issues.
DietHistorians believe that our modern-day diet has led to a reduction in jaw size compared to our ancestors. At the same time, the number of teeth we have has remained the same. This change may be an explanation for overcrowded, crooked teeth. The typical contemporary diet also lacks vitamins A, D, and K2. These are essential for bone development, especially in infancy and childhood. It’s led some researchers to believe that diet plays a big part in how straight your teeth are!
Bad HabitsChildhood habits like thumb-sucking and pacifier use can result in crooked teeth. While these are normal behaviours, they can cause protruding front teeth and bite problems if they continue for too long. Even in adulthood, bad habits like nailbiting and lip chewing can affect the straightness of teeth! Over a long period of time, these habits can actually shift adult teeth out of alignment. Not only that, but nailbiting can also chip teeth and cause enamel wear.
Oral HygieneRegular brushing, flossing, and dentist checkups are the key to good oral health! But what happens if you skip these essential oral hygiene steps? Periodontal disease can result, causing several problems, including:
- Receding gums
- Jaw changes
- Tooth loss
- Bad breath
TraumaSometimes an accident causes dental problems. Facial trauma can result in tooth loss or jaw problems, depending on the severity of the accident. Any of these issues can provoke teeth to shift from their proper positions.
How Do Crooked Teeth Affect Day to Day Life?People sometimes think of crooked teeth as an aesthetic problem. But misalignment can cause serious oral and physical health issues as well.
Oral HealthMaintaining excellent oral health is a top priority, but crooked teeth can greatly impact your ability to do so. Depending on the severity of the misaligned teeth, you might experience problems like:
- Increased cavities
- Injury and breakage of protruding teeth
- Jaw aches
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Cuts and pain on the gums and lips
- Difficulties chewing and swallowing
- Trouble breathing properly
- Gum disease
Physical HealthOne of the most common problems that result from poor oral health is headaches. Crooked teeth and jaw problems often go hand in hand. And pressure on the jaw or jaw aches can progress into consistent headaches. Another surprising connection between oral and physical health is the heart! Studies have found that periodontal disease can increase heart disease risks. Researchers believe that gum disease makes it easier for infections to enter the bloodstream, affecting the heart.
Emotional and Mental HealthCrooked teeth are often the culprit behind a lack of self-esteem. Since smiling is a big part of our culture, your teeth are centre stage all the time. An insecure smile can make it difficult to make friends, interview for jobs, or create romantic relationships.
Which Treatment Options Are Available?The good news is that crooked teeth are often an easy fix! Treatment options differ depending on your budget, preferences, and time commitment.
Metal BracesEveryone knows these! The metal wires, rubber bands, and brackets method are often a go-to for children and teenagers with crooked teeth. But braces can be uncomfortable, unsightly, and require constant trips to the orthodontist’s office.
Clear BracesClear braces gained steam in the 1980s and have become popular in the last few decades. Instead of using metal, clear plastic brackets designed to blend with your teeth are used. Clear braces make the whole ordeal less obvious, but the downsides of constant orthodontist trips and pain are still there.
Clear AlignersEnter clear aligners, like SmilePath! No orthodontist visits, no pain, and no one will even know you’re wearing them. A new method of correcting crooked teeth that doesn’t scream: I’m wearing invisible braces! SmilePath’s clear aligners are custom created based on impressions of your teeth. You wear each set of aligners for ten days, then switch to the next. These sets gradually realign your teeth by using gentle but precise force. If you prefer not to wear aligners during the day, you can opt for the NightOnly clear aligners. Just pop them on before bed and take them off eight to ten hours later. The perfect solution for people who want to keep their treatment discreet! And the best part? Clear aligners are even less expensive than cheap braces. You can pay in low monthly instalments and have the teeth of your dreams in a few months!
Start Your Teeth Straightening Journey Today!If you want to improve your oral, physical, and emotional health when it comes to crooked teeth, clear aligners are an excellent solution. Avoid the hassle of getting braces tightened, and rubber bands changed with SmilePath! It’s never too late to get the perfect, straight Hollywood smile you crave. SmilePath is an affordable treatment you can do from the privacy of your own home. Get started with a free assessment today!
Cakan, D. G., Ulkur, F., & Taner, T. (2013). The genetic basis of dental anomalies and its relation to orthodontics. European journal of dentistry, 7(Suppl 1), S143–S147. https://doi.org/10.4103/1305-7456.119092
English, T. (2016, September 14). Could old skulls help us understand why we have crooked teeth? WHYY. https://whyy.org/segments/could-old-skulls-help-us-understand-why-we-have-crooked-teeth/
Crooked Teeth and Nutrition by Dr. Steven Lin. (n.d.). Orthotown. https://www.orthotown.com/magazine/articles/6797/crooked-teeth-and-nutrition
Joelijanto, R. (2012). Oral Habits That Cause Malocclusion Problems. Insisiva Dental Journal: Majalah Kedokteran Gigi Insisiva, 1(2). doi:https://doi.org/10.18196/di.v1i2.536
InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Misaligned teeth and jaws: Overview. 2020 Jan 16. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553375/
Logan, A. (2020, September 21). Temporomandibular Disorders and Headache. American Migraine Foundation. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/temporomandibular-disorders/
Heart disease prevention: Does oral health matter? (2020, November 10). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/heart-disease-prevention/faq-20057986