What Causes Crooked Teeth?

There are several reasons why people have crooked, twisted, overlapping or overcrowded teeth. In the past it was thought that people have crooked teeth because their mouths are too small for their teeth, which causes teeth to shift and overlap. However, modern research has shown that myofunctional habits, such as mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing and thumb sucking are the real causes of crooked teeth.

Early loss of teeth (whether it’s primary or permanent teeth), incorrect fitting of dental restorations, gum disease, excessive pressure on the teeth and gums, misaligned jaws, tumours in the mouth, as well as pacifier sucking beyond the age of three, are other contributors of crooked teeth.

Although orthodontic treatment can correct crooked, overcrowded or overlapping teeth, it does little to address the underlying causes thereof. That is why there are cases where the teeth become misaligned again after the orthodontic appliance is removed. Because of this, it is recommended that people who have myofunctional habits wear retainers until their poor oral habits get corrected.

While you are able to see whether your teeth are crooked or not, your dentist will determine if you need treatment. If you require treatment, you will be referred to an orthodontist who will take X-rays, photographs of your face, as well as teeth impressions in order to provide you with the best and most effective treatment. In most cases, a removable retainer or braces is all that is needed to correct the problem. However, there are rare cases where an operation might be necessary to correct an extreme overbite or underbite –when the upper and lower jaws aren’t the same size.

Contact us for an Orthodontist in Cape Town who has years of experience with correcting crooked teeth.





Myobrace “What Causes Crooked Teeth”


WebMD “Dental Health With Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bites”


McKenna “What causes Crooked Teeth?”



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