Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

Two Reasons Your Front Teeth Are Crowding Together

by Caitlin Obara

It's not unusual for previously straight front teeth to become misaligned over time. Here are two reasons why this can occur and your options for fixing the problem.

Your Wisdom Teeth Grew In

One common reason your front teeth are crowding is because your wisdom teeth came in. In general, the human mouth is designed to fit all of a person's teeth comfortably, including wisdom teeth that typically erupt in the late teens and sometimes later. However, if the wisdom teeth don't grow in straight or your mouth isn't large enough to fit them, these teeth can cause gradual crowding as they force the other teeth to move around and make room for them.

A dentist can typically catch these issues early and take steps to prevent wisdom teeth from causing oral health issues. If you don't get regular checkups, however, and your wisdom teeth don't cause any problems (e.g. pain, infection), you may not realize there's an issue until your front teeth become misaligned.

The best way to fix this problem is to have your wisdom teeth examined and get them removed if there isn't enough room for them or they're growing in at an odd angle. You would then need to follow up with an orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.

You Are Missing Teeth

It may seem counterintuitive that your teeth will crowd together if you're missing some, but this is exactly what happens due to a phenomenon called physiologic drift. This is a technical term for the tendency of teeth to migrate towards the front of the mouth. Your mouth does this naturally as you age, but missing teeth speeds up the process.

This is because when teeth migrate to empty spaces in the mouth, sometimes they tip over. This causes two issues. The tooth may exert undue force on surrounding teeth due to its odd angle. Second, the awkwardly angled tooth changes your bite, so you may be putting additional pressure on your teeth to drift each time you chew.

When teeth are removed or lost, it's critical to have those gaps filled in as soon as possible with a dental implant or other replacement appliance. Be aware, though, your orthodontist may recommend straightening your teeth first to ensure the implant is placed in a correct and supportive position.

For more information about teeth crowding or solutions for straightening teeth, contact an orthodontist like those found at Rosenzweig Orthodontics.