If you suffer from crooked teeth, join the crowd! Most people aren't born with a perfect smile and experience crooked teeth to some degree. But noticeably crooked teeth can be disconcerting, whether they're putting you at risk for dental problems or just making it hard to look in the mirror. Crooked teeth are a type of malocclusion, or misalignment of teeth, and they are a dental condition that should be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, most people have absolutely no control over whether they get crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are often a part of your genetic makeup -- you inherit crooked teeth just like you inherit your eye color or the shape of your nose. Crooked teeth can also result from overcrowding. A small jaw may not allow enough room for all 32 of your adult teeth to come in, causing them to shift after eruption.
Crooked teeth are usually hereditary, but other factors can also cause teeth to become crooked. Crooked teeth may result from applying consistent pressure to your teeth. Prolonged thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting are commonly known to contribute to crooked teeth. Missing teeth are also a culprit -- the gap created by a missing tooth allows existing teeth to move into the space, causing them to shift or rotate in the process.
Here’s the Predicament …
Crooked teeth can be embarrassing -- but that's the least of your worries! Crooked teeth can lead to dental problems that can affect your dental health. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean, which puts you at risk of creating a buildup of tooth decay -- causing dental plaque and dental tartar. Crooked teeth can also create an uneven biting pressure, which in turn can cause chewing problems, strain the jaw muscles and lead to cracked or broken teeth.