What are crowded teeth?

“Crowded teeth” is a term used to describe when teeth appear to be too tightly packed together. In most instances crowded teeth will cause the teeth to grow “crooked” or overlapping other teeth because there isn’t enough space in the jawbone to grow straight and natural. Teeth may be forced to twist, slant, or overlap other teeth in order to continue growing, albeit out of place.

Crowded teeth are a common dental issue and can usually be corrected with teeth straightening treatments such as braces or Invisalign. Whilst crowded teeth are unlikely to cause any real pain, it can make the sufferer feel very self-conscious about their smile and can even lead to anxiety.

Crowded teeth are most prevalent in adults though crowded teeth can start to present in teenagers as more of their adult teeth start to come through. Attending regular dental appointments will allow your dentist to identify the early stages of crowded teeth and suggest pre-emptive orthodontic treatment.

There are three stages/classifications of crowded teeth:

Mild crowding

One of the front teeth may be slightly twisted on either the upper or lower jaw.

Moderate crowding

Two or three front teeth are overlapping on the upper or lower jaw.

Severe crowding

Four or more teeth are overlapping on the upper of lower jaw.

Symptoms of crowded teeth

Crowded teeth can cause pain and discomfort to the patient and can manifest itself in several ways, including:

  • Toothache – crowded teeth can exert extra pressure on each another and as such cause toothache or pain on the gums or jaw.
  • Infection – crowded teeth can grow unnaturally and as such can make it easier for tooth decay to arise and cause infection. Keeping your teeth and gums clean might be harder to undertake, as such, this can lead to a build-up of plaque that can harm your oral health.
  • Trouble eating – a misalignment of teeth can sometimes cause complications when eating. Biting and chewing might become uncomfortable or painful.
  • Muscular fatigue – crowded teeth can cause extra strain on your jaw muscles which can lead to headaches and pain around the jaw, face and even as far as your shoulders.
  • Loss of self-confidence – the appearance of overlapping or twisted teeth may cause the you to lose confidence in their smile if they feel particularly self-conscious.

Speak to a dental professional today

Our dentists have all the experience, skill and technology required to diagnose and treat crowded teeth. Arrange an appointment with our dental team at our central London dental clinic, situated on the prestigious Wimpole Street.

What is the most common cause of crowded teeth?

Crowded teeth are a very common dental problem and can be caused by multiple factors as listed below:

  • Sucking your thumb: Sucking your thumb when you’re a baby may seem to be innocent enough but continued thumb sucking as a toddler (or older) can cause misalignment of a child’s baby teeth.
  • Genetics: Unfortunately, you can inherit crowded teeth from your family. If you have older family members that have crowded teeth you are likely to be at a higher risk of crowded teeth. Furthermore, some people grow oversized teeth which can cause crowding.
  • Injury: Physical trauma to your mouth can cause teeth to become twisted or dislodged out of position. You should always attend the dentist if you suffer any dental injuries to protect and prevent further dental complications.
  • Baby teeth: In some instances, baby teeth might not loosen in the gum and can stop permanent adult teeth from emerging. This can cause overcrowding of teeth and may need to be rectified with tooth extraction.
  • Extra teeth: Just as some people might not lose baby teeth, some can develop extra teeth. Hyperdontia is the medical term for the condition where an individual has more than the usual 32 adult teeth. These extra teeth can cause overcrowding and may need to be extracted by a dentist.

How do you fix crowded teeth?

The most vital aspect of treating crowded teeth is to arrange an appointment with a dentist so that they can inspect your teeth and identify the cause. Your dentist will then be able to recommend an appropriate course of action, this might involve a tooth extraction or a referral to an orthodontist.

An orthodontist is a dentist that specialises in dental issues regarding teeth straightening and alignment. Most instances of teeth straightening involve braces or aligners that can help realign and correct malformed teeth.