I have a couple of quick questions related to Invisalign. I’m in my mid-40s and had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 17. When I had the teeth extracted, they told me I wouldn’t need braces because removing my wisdom teeth would give space for my other teeth. Over the years, my teeth have become somewhat crowded, and it’s becoming obvious I will have to do something to fix it if I ever want to feel comfortable about smiling. Could I have done something to cause this since they told me I would not need braces? Is this something Invisalign can solve? Thanks. Danielle
Thank you for your question. Dr. Brooksher would need to examine and x-ray your teeth before recommending treatment. But orthodontic treatment can correct teeth crowding.
What Causes Teeth Crowding?
Genetics, teeth grinding, tooth loss, or oral habits during childhood can cause teeth crowding. Your tooth position can change. That’s why clear braces or traditional braces can help.
Reasons for overcrowding of teeth may include the following:
- Genetics: Some people have naturally smaller jaws or have teeth that are too wide for their jaws. Others have narrow palates and other oral conditions that can cause tooth malalignment. When teeth do not come together naturally, the constant biting force can push them out of place.
- Grinding: Regularly applied force of any kind, including teeth grinding, can shift teeth. Grinding, particularly at night, is a big culprit for adults.
- Extended Pacifier/ Bottle Use: Sucking on things—even thumbs—creates forward-moving pressure. Although most adults will not have an issue from prolonged bottle and pacifier use, some continue similar behaviors in adulthood, such as chewing on pens or thrusting their tongue against their front teeth.
- Tooth Loss: If a tooth is missing, the other teeth will begin to close the gap, the way water will rush into a hole carved on a sandy beach. It can gradually occur. Tooth loss also impacts the position of the tooth that would normally bite against the missing tooth. For example, if you lose a premolar on your lower left, you’ll likely have shifting on your lower and upper left teeth.
- Oral Health: If you do not maintain regular cleaning appointments and good care at home, you will develop periodontal disease. In the early stage, it can cause bleeding gums, but when it progresses to an advanced stage, you will likely have bone loss in your jaw and lose teeth.
- Poor Dental Work: When dental repairs are not properly completed (this occurs more often with dental tourism), poorly shaped crowns, fillings, bridges, and other work may change the bite or begin to push teeth out of alignment.
- Injuries: Car accidents, falls, and other forms of trauma can impact your teeth in many ways.
- Tumors: Tumors and other medical conditions can impact your jaw, teeth, and bite, although rare.
- Failure to Wear a Retainer: Many orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer at night for life or having a permanent fixed retainer attached to the back of your teeth. Failure to follow the orthodontist’s advice after braces will likely result in shifting.
Clear Braces Can Correct Teeth Crowding
In most cases, clear braces are an excellent choice to solve crowding and can address some underlying issues as well. You will need a dentist to evaluate the degree of crowding, but you must people have success with clear aligners. Schedule a consultation.
Baton Rouge accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Steven Brooksher sponsors this post. Dr. Brooker formerly used Invisalign but prefers an alternative, Clear Correct. Learn why.