What causes crooked teeth?
Sparkle Dental | 27/06/2016
Whilst crooked teeth may run in families, it is not purely a genetic problem. Like a family history of heart disease, there are many factors which contribute to whether this problem will ultimately develop. This blog post and video explain more.
The Straight Talk About Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth are almost always a sign of improper facial growth rather than teeth that are too big. The jaws are underdeveloped and this has been linked to narrowed tongue space and airways. Ultimately this is associated with the progression of sleep disturbed breathing and consequent health risks.
Rather than it being a purely genetic condition the evidence suggests crooked teeth are a result of a complex interplay of our environment with our genes.
The balance between the muscles of the tongue and those of the lips and the cheeks will influence whether crowded teeth are expressed.
This video illustrates the importance of proper resting tongue posture on the roof of the mouth.
In the earliest years of life, the upper jaw is very soft and malleable. If the tongue is sitting in the right spot in the roof of the mouth it can act as a scaffold for normal palate development.
Similar to the skull developing around the growing brain, we should expect the upper jaw to expand around the tongue so that the jaw perfectly houses the tongue.
There are many reasons why this does not occur.
Lowered tongue posture may arise from
Bottle feeding/ Absence of breastfeeding
Prolonged use of sippy cups
Dummies or pacifiers
Low muscle tone associated with prematurity or neuromuscular disorders
Considering that 60% of facial growth is complete by the age of 4 years, establishing normal orofacial muscle function early life is important in developing faces and airways to their true genetic potential.
Dr Shereen Lim has a special interest in facial and airway development. She is trained to identify poor muscle habits that result in poor facial growth. She can identify developing orthodontic problems whilst a child still has baby teeth and can provide preventive advice or review any early interceptive options. For this reason we suggest your child is booked with Dr Lim for their initial dental visit at the practice.
Related blog categories: breathing, crooked, cups, development, mouth, palate, sippy, teeth
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