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  • Crowding & Spacing of the Teeth

    Crowding

    Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum, if the teeth are too large for their allotted space, or if the teeth erupt incorrectly. Problems associated with crowding include:

    • difficulty cleaning all tooth surfaces, leading to more dental decay
    • an improper bite pattern
    • incorrect functioning of the teeth
    • an increased chance of developing periodontal disease
    • an unattractive smile, leading to lower self-esteem

    Treatment

    Crowding can often be corrected by expansion. Many times, tooth removal can be avoided by first trying expansion. If more space is needed, some teeth may be extracted to create this room. In either case, braces will be used to straighten the teeth once the extra space has been created.

    Spacing

    Spacing problems are the exact opposite of crowding problems. Spacing may be caused by having excessive space allotted for each tooth, having missing teeth or having teeth that are too small to fit into their allotted spaces. Spacing issues can cause:

    • an increased chance of developing periodontal disease, as the gums aren’t protected by teeth
    • incorrect functioning of the teeth
    • an unattractive smile, leading to lower self-esteem

    Treatment

    Spacing problems can often be corrected by orthodontic treatment: closing the gaps and properly aligning the teeth.