Home»Blog»How Too Much or Too Little Space Can Affect Your Teeth
As a child, you probably heard the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. In the story, a small girl tries chairs that are too big and too small, porridge that is too hot and too cold, and beds that are too hard and too soft before finding a chair, porridge, and bed that are just right. The space between your teeth is similar to the items Goldilocks encounters—it can be too much, too little, or just right. Here is how the wrong amount of space can affect your teeth and overall dental health.
Not Enough Space Between Teeth
Also known as crowding, having not enough space between your teeth often causes them to lookcrooked, which is probably the main reason people think about getting braces. But having crooked teeth is only one of the issues caused by crowding.
When teeth are too close together, it is very difficult to properly clean in between them. Even dental floss and rinses may not be able to reach certain parts of your teeth if they are crowded together. This inability to clean off leftover food and drink particles causes plaque to form, which can eventually lead to gingivitis or cavities. Having bacteria trapped between teeth can also lead to having bad breath.
Crowded teeth are never in their proper places, so they do not align with the teeth above or below them. This misalignment can make your teeth wear unevenly and can make it hard or painful to bite down or chew. Food that is not chewed thoroughly is harder to digest.
Too Much Space Between Teeth
The most noticeable gap is one that occurs between the front two teeth, this is called a diastema, but gaps can occur anywhere in your mouth. Baby teeth that are spaced out can actually be a good thing, because that means there is enough room in the upper and lowers jaws for the larger adult teeth coming in later. However, large gaps between adult teeth can be an issue.
Space between teeth is often caused by the jaw being larger than necessary, teeth being too small, or teeth that are missing.Prolonged thumb-suckingcan also create gaps between the upper front teeth over time. Just like crowding, having too much space between your teeth can also cause gingivitis, just in a different way. Extra space leaves an area for food to become lodged. Having more gum exposed between teeth leaves it open to more bacteria instead of it being protected by teeth. These bacteria can case tooth decay and eventually cavities.
How to Fix the Problem
Fortunately, both too much and too little space between teeth can be fixed. During an initial exam, your orthodontist will be able to determine what caused the crowding or gaps to occur and will provide you with treatment options such as an appliance, braces, orInvisalign.
For more information about getting teeth that are just right, call Charleston Orthodontic Specialists at (843) 4-BRACES.
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However, orthodontic treatment can also trigger some degree of root resorption in permanent teeth. This is because if the process happens too quickly, the teeth or bone may dissolve the roots rather than altering the bone to accommodate the moving tooth.How much space should you have between your teeth? ›
The following summarizes how the teeth should properly fit together: From the front of the mouth: the upper front teeth should fall slightly in front of the lower teeth. The upper teeth should overlap the lower teeth by approximately 2 mm. The upper and lower front teeth should lightly touch.What happens if your teeth are too close together? ›
Teeth crowding can cause pain in several ways. First, it can lead to improper jaw alignment, leading to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). Headaches characterize this disorder, jaw pain, clicking or popping of the jaw joint, and earache. It can also lead to facial pain and difficulty chewing or speaking.How do you know if your teeth are too close? ›
Common Signs Of Crowded Teeth
Overlapping teeth. Difficulty chewing. Difficulty flossing between your teeth. Crooked teeth.
They can be caused by many factors, including genetics, thumb sucking, early or late loss of baby teeth, trauma to the gums or teeth, and dental disease. However, you should know that you don't have to live with these issues just because they're common.Should the teeth touch when mouth is closed? ›
When we naturally close our mouths, it's common for us to close our jaws completely, causing our top and bottom teeth to touch. However, this habit isn't ideal for oral health. In fact, it's recommended to have a relaxed jaw position with a slight gap between the teeth, known as a freeway space.What is a minor spacing in teeth? ›
Diastema is the clinical term for a gap between teeth. While gaps can develop anywhere in your mouth, diastema is most common between your two front teeth (midline diastema). Gaps between your teeth may be small or large. Diastema usually doesn't have a negative impact on your oral health.What condition occurs when there is lack of space for the teeth to not fit properly aligned within the arch? ›
Crowding of the Teeth
Crowding is the lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws. The teeth may be twisted or displaced. Crowding occurs when there is disharmony in the tooth to jaw size relationship or when the teeth are larger than the available space.
Large gaps between teeth can cause bacterial growth and plaque build-up, leading to tooth decay or periodontal disease. Gaps can also cause trouble biting, chewing, or swallowing, and cause pain in your teeth or jaw. For these reasons, it's best to close gaps between your teeth.Why can't I fully close my teeth? ›
A tight jaw can happen for many reasons, such as stress, temporomandibular joint disorders, grinding the teeth at night, and tetanus, also known as lockjaw. Tetanus is just one cause of stiffness in the jaw, but it can lead to severe complications.
Some people's mouths are too small, crowding the teeth and shifting them into crooked positions.Why do my bottom teeth show when I smile? ›
"Every decade over the age of 30," Deutsch says, "you show a millimeter less of your front teeth." Everything starts to sag a little, and the elasticity in the skin around the lips isn't what it used to be. So, as gravity pulls its weight, more of the bottom teeth show.When I close my mouth my teeth don't align? ›
When you have malocclusion, your upper and lower teeth don't align when you close your mouth. Malocclusion typically happens when your teeth are crowded — meaning your teeth are too large for your mouth — or are crooked. But it can also happen if your upper and lower jaws aren't aligned.What is it called when your teeth are too close? ›
Malocclusion means the teeth are not aligned properly. Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together (bite). Malocclusion is the most common reason for referral to an orthodontist. Most malocclusion is mild enough not to require treatment.Can something go wrong with braces? ›
Some of the most common problems with braces involve food. Food particles can get stuck under brackets and bands causing discomfort and even pain. You can dislodge pieces of food carefully with a toothpick, floss, or toothbrush.What can go wrong with braces? ›
- Patient Resources. ...
- Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor compared to these situations, but they may still cause discomfort or irritation. ...
- Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances. ...
- Loose or broken brackets, bands or wires. ...
- Misplaced or poking archwire, bracket or tie.
If you notice some tooth movement after braces, the best thing to do is contact your orthodontist. It's usually completely normal for teeth to move slightly as your mouth settles down, but your orthodontist can advise if there's any further treatment you or your child might need.