What causes crooked teeth?

What causes crooked teeth?

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  • Post last modified:19 January 2022
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The cause for crooked teeth can be for a number of reasons that range from genetics to oral health.

When extra teeth or abnormally large teeth create a malalignment (crookedness or misplacement of teeth), the culprit is usually genetic in nature.

Other inherited traits involve jaws that are too small to accommodate a full set of teeth, or missing or extra teeth. Can crooked teeth be prevented?

In most cases, underbites, overbites, and crooked teeth are genetically derived and can’t be avoided.

Orthodontic treatment with plates or braces will be necessary to correct the condition. However, certain early childhood behaviours may also contribute to the development of crooked teeth that can be avoided.

Habits which can cause crooked teeth

  • Thumb sucking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Early loss of baby teeth

Permanent teeth underneath baby teeth are directly affected by the health of baby teeth. If baby teeth are prematurely lost due to decay or trauma, the permanent teeth may shift and close the space, leaving no space for the matching adult tooth to grow through. 

The cause for crooked teeth can be for a number of reasons that range from genetics to oral health.

In addition, excellent care of baby teeth is vital to having healthy permanent teeth. Harmful oral bacteria can spread into the gums and reach permanent teeth still buried in the gums. Once attached to a tooth’s enamel, bacteria will begin eroding the tooth even before it has a chance to take its first bite!

When to Start Orthodontic Treatment for Crooked Teeth

Dr. Wilkinson and our staff suggest that parents bring your child to Wilkinson Orthodontics from around age seven to rule out potential issues that can occur even before all adult teeth have grown through.

Early treatment can benefit some bite and overcrowding concerns.  There are particular orthodontic concerns that can only be fixed by surgery if the issue is not noticed early.