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Whether you’re reading a magazine, watching a movie, or browsing the internet, you may find that everyone in these images has perfectly white and straight teeth. But in reality, this is not the case. It’s very rare that someone is born with perfectly straight teeth, and it’s unlikely, even with superb oral hygiene habits, that they’ll be able to maintain that look throughout their whole life. When asking yourself why these things happen, it’s important to remember to have realistic standards. Many people in the media spend thousands of dollars in order to maintain the appearance of their teeth and even then, they’re usually edited in post-production to look even better.

Keep reading to learn about what causes teeth to be crowded, overlapping, or out of place.

Genetics

The way our teeth are set in our mouths can have a lot to do with genetics. Just like the color of our eyes or hair, the way our teeth and jaws develop is linked to genetics. Often times, when people think of teeth being crooked, the issue may actually be with the jaw being too small or there being too many teeth in the mouth. Most adults have 32 teeth, however, it’s not unusual for someone to have an extra tooth or to be missing a tooth. This will almost certainly lead to some teeth being twisting, overlapping, or leaving a gap.

Although this isn’t a medical emergency by any means, it can lead to issues with chewing as well as maintaining a great oral hygiene routine. The fact of the matter is that crooked teeth are harder to clean and food particles are more likely to get stuck in areas that can’t be reached with a toothbrush or dental floss.

Another possible hereditary issue linked to crooked teeth is malocclusion or misalignment of the jaw. Our jaws are designed to be set just right so that when we bite down, there is an even amount of pressure spread over each tooth. Some people have a misaligned jaw leading to more force being applied to certain teeth. This can result in crooked teeth over time but also a significant amount of pain.

There are three classes of malocclusion. Class 1 malocclusion is when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth; class 2 is when there is a severe overlap of the top teeth, and class 3 is when the lower jaw overlaps the upper. Speak with your orthodontist to learn more about how this could affect your orthodontic treatment.

Injury

It’s worth mentioning that injury can play a huge role in the current condition of your teeth, even if the injury was sustained a long time ago. Facial trauma either to the jaw or teeth themselves can lead to misaligned teeth. Additionally, if teeth are lost during the trauma, surrounding teeth will adjust and this could lead to them becoming more crooked. Immediately after a tooth is lost, the underlying bone in the jaw will begin to resorb which will complicate things further.

If you do sustain an injury to the jaw or teeth, it’s always a good idea to speak with an oral health specialist immediately. If you play a contact sport like football or lacrosse, be sure to wear a good mouthguard that will help you prevent facial injuries.

Contact Camilo Riano Orthodontics

If you’re experiencing tooth misalignment for any reason, there’s never a better time to get in contact with your local San Francisco orthodontist. At Camilo Riano Orthodontics, we offer a whole range of treatment options to treat this. Contact us today to learn more and read part two of this blog series.