Overcrowded teeth, also known as dental crowding or malocclusion, occur when there is insufficient space in the jaw for all the teeth to align properly. This causes them to overlap or twist, leading to various oral and dental issues. The problem could affect children and adults alike and could be due to genetics or poor oral habits.
Problems Of Overcrowded Teeth
There are certain problems associated with overcrowded teeth including:-
1. Difficulty Cleaning Teeth
Overlapping in teeth causes crevices that are hard to access with a toothbrush or floss. When this happens, plaque starts accumulating on them. Over time, this hardens to form tartar which can destroy the teeth.
2. Increased Risk Of Tooth Decay And Gum Disease
The presence of plaque and tartar can be the reason why your teeth decay. Primarily, tooth decay occurs when the bacteria produce acids that corrode the enamel or the outer protective layer of the tooth. If left untreated this could lead to cavities. Additionally, it can also lead to swelling of the gum and then progress to periodontitis.
3. Misalignment Issues
Overcrowded teeth can lead to misalignment of upper and lower sets of teeth, which can cause bite problems. Patients often experience a protrusion of the lower or upper jaw or in rare cases crossbite. These can contribute adversely to the whole jaw function and contribute to discomfort.
4. Speech And Chewing Difficulties
Misaligned teeth can lead to problems in the position of lips and tongue as well. Apart from causing issues while chewing, this can lead to serious speech impediments. Speech impairments often lead to low self-esteem and cause emotional distress.
Overcrowded teeth can impact the overall appearance of the smile, leading to a reduction in confidence during social interactions.
How To Fix Overcrowded Teeth?
Overcrowded teeth are a problem that can be quite sensitive to some sections of the population. So there are a few ways by which one can fix overcrowded teeth-
A kind of orthodontic treatment, braces are the most common solution given for overcrowded teeth. The process begins by assessing the lay of the land and then developing a structure and a plan. Brackets are then attached to teeth and wires are threaded through them.
Regular adjustments are made to the alignment which makes the teeth fall into place over time. The duration of the treatment could depend on the condition of your teeth ranging from a few months to a year. However, users should be careful about maintaining oral hygiene as well as adhering to a fixed diet to avoid damaging the braces. Invisalign is an alternative for braces which the patient is allowed to wear for 22 hours a day and changing a set every 2 weeks. It is transparent and should be removed while eating or drinking.
2. Tooth Extraction
To address severe overcrowding, tooth extraction may be recommended. A dentist would evaluate which tooth needs removal and then local anesthesia is administered to minimize pain. Following the extractions, they receive post-procedure care instructions, including dietary instructions and guidelines for maintaining oral hygiene. Regular checkups should be conducted to oversee the healing process.
3. Palatal Expanders
These are often used with children with developing jaws. A digital scan of the mouth is conducted to customize the expander. The device is then cemented to the upper molars, and adjustments are made to expand the jaw further. Like braces. This one too requires constant care and maintenance along with dietary changes.
Retainers are braces that are worn full-time initially and then changed to nighttime only. It is also prescribed after orthodontics treatment to correct teeth alignment much like its counterparts.
5. Surgical Plans
Orthognathic surgery is conducted if the alignment cannot be treated with any of the above. Performed with general anesthesia, the surgery will require the patient to cross long walks of recovery time and diet schedule to get it under control.
The primary step is always to get a thorough dental checkup to get a comprehensive plan on how to go about the problem. It will also help the doctor understand which way would work best for you. In any case, you must be careful about what you eat and care for your teeth.