Crooked Teeth

About crooked teeth

Crooked or wonky teeth are teeth that are misaligned in some way. They may be twisted, overlapping other teeth, or growing in the wrong place.

This can be caused by a range of factors, including having more teeth than usual or a smaller jaw.

Crooked teeth are common in both adults and children. In some cases, wonky teeth can lead to general and oral health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease and headaches.

What causes crooked teeth?

Teeth can become crooked for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • Overcrowding: When there isn’t enough space in your jaw, due to extra teeth or overcrowding, your teeth can twist, overlap or protrude (stick out).
  • Poor oral hygiene: If you don’t practise effective oral hygiene, you could be at risk of gum disease. At later stages, gum disease can cause teeth to shift, become loose, or even fall out.
  • Abnormal Eruption: This is when teeth don’t grow in the right place in the mouth.
  • Prolonged thumb sucking: Persistent thumb sucking [link to thumb sucking blog] or use of a pacifier can push teeth outwards, causing misalignment.
  • Poor nutrition: If you don’t consume the nutrients your body needs, you may be at risk of general and oral health issues, such as crooked teeth.
  • Missing milk tooth: If you lost a milk tooth as a child, due to tooth decay or trauma, it will have left space other teeth can lean into, crowding the area an adult tooth would later grow into.

What are the risks of crooked teeth?

Crooked teeth can be more than just a cosmetic concern. They can lead to a number of general and oral health issues overtime, including:

Tooth decay and gum disease:

If you have crooked teeth, it can be difficult to reach every area of your mouth. This can affect your oral hygiene and put you at risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Excess wear:

Misaligned teeth can cause excess wear and tear on your gums, teeth and jaw. This could lead to several health issues including damaged teeth, jaw strain, severe headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Speech difficulties:

Speech requires moving your tongue against your teeth and palate, so misaligned teeth can lead to speech issues and potentially a lisp.

Chewing and digestion difficulties:

If you have misaligned teeth, it can be challenging, or even painful, to chew food properly. This may also have a knock-on effect on digestion.

How to fix crooked teeth

If you’d like to straighten crooked teeth, a range of teeth straightening options are available. These include:

  • Clear, removable aligners, such as Invisalign aligners. They’re virtually invisible and can be used for a range of cases.
  • Clip-in, metal removable braces such as Inman aligners.
  • Fixed braces including traditional, clear ceramic and lingual braces (braces behind the teeth). These are often recommended in complex cases.

Learn more about fixing crooked teeth

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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