What is overcrowding?

Overcrowding occurs when there is a mismatch between the size of the jaw and the size of the teeth. The teeth cannot fit in a regular arched form. The teeth that erupt later find their position already occupied and they erupt out of position. Some teeth may not erupt at all for lack of space. Overcrowding disrupts the visual harmony of the teeth. It can force teeth to tilt, rotate and erupt out of position. Stains. plaque and tartar are sometimes difficult to access and clean. Tooth decay follows and is more difficult to treat because of poor access.The bite will be uneven and irregular.


Common causes & prevention

Other causes of overcrowding or misaligned teeth include:

  • Frequent use of a pacifier after the age of 3.
  • Prolonged use of bottle feeding in early childhood.
  • Thumb sucking in early childhood.
  • Poor dental care that results in improperly fitting dental fillings, crowns, or braces.

Prevention and treatment

Some cases of overcrowding are hereditary and cannot be prevented.

  • Regular early dental care allows the dentist to note any tendency to overcrowding and treat or refer for an orthodontic opinion where necessary.
  • Be sure to take good care of the baby teeth and have them regularly checked and maintained. Baby teeth maintain space and guide the underlying permanent teeth into the correct position. This space and guidance is lost if baby teeth are lost early. When the permanent tooth begins to erupt its space is gone, overcrowding results.

If you would like more information on the spacing in your teeth, get a Toothpic online dental consult and one of our online dentists will review images of your teeth and share a detailed report on any issues, homecare and next steps you may need.

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