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4 Reasons for Dental Crowding
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Hi, Dr James here, and I’m one of the Principal Dentists at Elevate Dental here in Melbourne.

I remember a conversation I had with Bernadette, a lovely patient who works right across the street here in our clinic in Hawthorn. She had noticed her teeth were overlapping and misaligned, and it’s just getting progressively crowded. So, she asked me, “What causes teeth crowding?”

I know a lot of you have been curious about this, so I thought I’d make this video explaining the four reasons why your teeth are crowding.

Dental crowding can affect up to 30% of the general population. This can lead to issues with patients such as being self-conscious and unhappy about their smile, hiding the true smile or avoiding smiling completely, difficulty with cleaning the teeth and gums, having a higher risk of developing gum disease or dental decay, and increased bacterial buildup, leading to bad breath or discoloured teeth.

So, with that in mind, here are four general reasons for dental crowding.

Elevate Dental Teeth Crowding

Habits or events during childhood or during the adolescent years

Habits include thumb sucking or the use of a pacifier or dummy especially if past the age of three. Primary or deciduous teeth have an important role in holding the space for the permanent teeth to erupt or grow through. Prematurely losing these deciduous teeth often leads to insufficient space for the permanent teeth to erupt normally. In some cases, losing their permanent teeth too early can lead to the adjacent or opposing teeth to also be misaligned.

A genetic reason

Some types of misalignments of the jaws have a genetic component and, coupled with environmental factors, can lead to crowding. In these cases, if a patient has a specific type of crowding, then quite often his or her parent or parents may also have a similar type of crowding.

Teeth generally erupt within the shape of the jaw. And ideally, the upper teeth sit a little in front and outside of the lower teeth. Any changes in the way the jaws align will naturally affect the teeth and be a potential cause of dental crowding. Sometimes patients may also have teeth erupting into an incorrect position, teeth that are too big to fit within the jaw, or they may actually have extra teeth beyond the normal 32 permanent teeth.

Functional issues.

This can be due to tongue thrusting, where the tongue has a tendency to constantly push against your teeth or an airway disorder such as a tendency to breathe through your mouth rather than, ideally, nasal breathing. In these cases, there is an abnormal and non-ideal pressure being exerted on the teeth leading to dental crowding.

A condition such as a cleft lip or palate

These are splits or openings in the upper lip, the palate, that is the roof of the mouth or both. These occur when facial structures in the unborn baby don’t fuse or join completely. These have obvious consequences for the ideal positioning of the teeth. While this can be upsetting, it can be corrected to restore normal function and a more normal appearance.

Elevate Dental_Crowding

I hope this video gives you a great understanding of the causes of dental or teeth crowding. If you have any concerns about crowded teeth, we would love to give you some professional opinion about your options. We have a range of tried and tested treatment options, and they don’t all require braces!

You can visit us at our clinics located in Hawthorn and Richmond with free onsite parking, or simply call us on 1300 2 SMILE, complete the form on our website, or directly message us on social media, and we’ll be in touch to help you organise your consultation. See you in the next video.

Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.


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James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

James B


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James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

James B


What a professional and friendly team at Elevate Dental Richmond. Dr Judith’s infectious smile is matched only by her highly competent dentistry.
Richmond is lucky to have such a caring practice! Thanks guys.

Peter O


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