Crowding occurs where there is not enough space for all the teeth to fit well within the jaws. This can be due to improper tooth eruption, late or early loss of baby teeth, or bone structure that is too small. As a result, the teeth can be forced to twist to allow room for others or leave no space between the teeth.
Crowding is a condition that must be addressed, as it can cause problems such as :
- Being unable to fully clean the teeth.
- Gum disease.
- Poor function.
- Reduced aesthetics.
- Uneven wearing of the teeth.
- Tooth decay.
The way orthodontics corrects crowding depends on why the crowding is taking place and how old the patient is. In young patients where the crowding is due to the size of the jaws, expanders can be used to make the arches wider and braces worn to straighten the teeth. If the jaw size is not the issue, braces alone can be used in most patients. In some cases, tooth extraction may be needed, especially for patients who have already finished growing.
Spacing is the opposite of crowding and occurs when there is too much space between the teeth, resulting in visible gaps. This can be caused by tooth loss, protrusive teeth, impact teeth, abnormal tissue attachments, and small teeth.
Spacing is a condition that should be corrected because it can cause problems such as :
- Gum damage.
- Improper tooth function.
- Lacking aesthetics.
Orthodontics addresses spacing by moving the teeth closer together with braces.
To learn more about crowding and spacing, schedule a consultation.