Dr. Nevenka Tadic BDS(Adel), BScDent (Adel), DCD (Melb), MOrthRCS (Edin)
Specialist Orthodontist for Adults and Children
Crowding is when the teeth become overlapped. Prolonged thumb/finger sucking, mouth-breathing or genetic factors (big teeth, small jaw) are common causes of crooked teeth. Usually crowding of teeth occurs around 9 to 10 years of age.
Protrusion can occur due to a combination of factors. Thumbsucking can cause the teeth to be pushed forward and thus create a protrusion. Genetics can also affect the position of the jaws/teeth and as a result the upper jaw can be enlarged and out of porportion to the rest of the face. Similarly, the lower jaw may be too small in comparison to the upper jaw and thus the teeth appear as though they are protruded.
An open bite is usually caused when something is obstructing the natural alignment of the teeth at a young age. Usual culprits are thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, chewing on a pencil and prolonged use of feeding bottles and pacifiers.
A deep bite is where the upper front teeth bite too deeply and completely overlap the lower front teeth. A large top jaw, missing lower teeth and/or a smaller lower jaw could be the reasoning behind a deep bite. A deep bite can cause trauma on the front teeth.
An anterior crossbite may be caused by natural crowding, trauma to anterior baby teeth, retained baby teeth and/or a narrow upper arch. A prolonged anterior crossbite can put the specific teeth in crossbite under unnecessary trauma.
A posterior crossbite can occur when the lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw or the upper jaw is narrower compared to the lower jaw. This causes the upper molars to contact on the inner surface of the lower molars.
A diastema is usually caused by the presence of a low frenum. However, other possible causes are that the patient may have poor gum health, small teeth and the diastema is associated with generalised spacing or underlying genetics.