Causes and Effects of Crooked Teeth – What Malocclusion Means For Me

Crooked Teeth Are Very Common But Can Have Negative Health Consequences

Crooked Teeth Are Very Common But Can Have Negative Health Consequences

Why Do I Have Crooked Teeth?  Causes of Crooked Teeth

Simply put, teeth move by the application of gentle, constant pressure.  This is true whether that gentle, constant pressure is being applied on purpose (braces or clear aligners) or naturally (teeth pushing on one another, for example).  If the application of pressure is rapid rather than gentle, it can lead to traumatic dental injury such as when a baseball hits someone in the mouth.  

So what exactly causes crooked teeth?  Here are the most common culprits:

·         Genetics – you can thank your parents and ancestors for this one.  Sometimes you just come from a line of people with crooked teeth or misaligned jaws.

·         Early loss of baby or adult teeth which can allow shifting of other teeth;

·         Improper fit of dental restorations (for example, fillings or crowns);

·         Too small of a jaw to accommodate emerging teeth – this can crowd the teeth and cause them to shift;

·         Gingivitis (gum disease) – this can damage the jawbone leading to teeth shifting out of place.  Another reason (not that we needed another one!) why brushing a flossing is so important;

·         Misalignment of jaw after severe facial injury – wearing a mouth guard while playing sports can help you avoid tooth injury though not necessarily jaw injuries;

·         Thumb sucking – this should be ended early on before this foreign object leads to damage to proper formation of the child’s mouth;

·         Pacifier use – same explanation as for thumb sucking.  It should be discontinued before too long.

Other than appearance, are there any health effects of crooked teeth?  Effects of Crooked Teeth 

Many individuals believe that having crooked teeth will only affect their appearance and perhaps their self-confidence.   Unfortunately an unsightly appearance is not the only effect of crooked or misaligned teeth.  There are many negative consequences for both your overall and oral health caused by crooked teeth.  Thus, while Americans are often portrayed as being obsessed with straight teeth for only aesthetic reasons, straightening teeth can also help avoid negative health consequences as well.

Below is a very detailed video from Invisalign which explains the negative health consequences of crooked teeth. 


·         Gum disease – this forms when bacteria in our mouths turn into plaque.  This is especially problematic with crooked teeth because sometimes the gums don’t fit securely around your teeth. 

·         Problems cleaning your teeth – crooked teeth make it difficult to clean between them using a toothbrush or floss, allowing bacteria to grow and plaque to form. 

·         Excessive tooth wear, headaches, jaw pain, difficulty cleaning resulting in higher likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. 

·         Tooth wear – this is especially true with crooked lower teeth which can protrude, or stick out and rub against upper teeth.  With the passage of time, tooth enamel will wear away from the constant unnatural contact.

·         Halitosis, or bad breath – for the same reasons explained above (difficult brushing or flossing between them), crooked teeth can mean more bacteria in your teeth which can contribute to bad breath.

·         Self-confidence – simply put, the nice your smile the more confident you will be.  This has been proven by multiple studies and makes sense intuitively.  If you are ashamed of your teeth, you are also less likely to smile. 

·         Health generally – studies by the ADA confirm a correlation between bad oral health and bad overall health including cardiovascular health and more. 

·         Decreases overall health - Few people realize that dental issues can seriously affect more than just their oral health. Studies by the ADA have proven that oral infections caused by bacteria buildup may lead to more serious ailments, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and pneumonia.

How Can I Fix My Crooked Teeth?

One extremely popular option for individuals with crooked teeth are Invisalign Clear Aligners.  These are advertised as “The Clear Alternative to Braces” and that is exactly what they are.   Many patients have had their teeth straightened in a much easier, less aesthetically and functionally intruding way than the braces option by using Invisalign aligners.  Patients who use the aligners can wear them while eating, they are barely noticeable and they can be removed and are typically switched out every couple to every few weeks. 

If you would like more information about Invisalign, you can visit our Invisalign page by clicking on the following link:

If you have crooked teeth and would like improve both your appearance and health, call our office (562) 430-7310 for a free Invisalign consultation with Dr. Shanna Chirco, a Preferred Invisalign Provider.