What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Posted on: April 16, 2018

Crooked teeth should be taken just as seriously as cavities, gum disease and other significant oral health problems.  Braces have the potential to remedy crooked teeth yet they are expensive and take time to produce results. While additional options are available, most patients are interested in the cause of the crookedness and whether they can alter habits to straighten wayward teeth.

Here is a look at some of the different causes of crooked teeth.

Injury or Illness

Facial trauma like a mouth or jaw injury will move the teeth out of position if the force is significant.  In fact, trauma is the leading cause of the majority of severe cases of crooked teeth.

Faulty Teeth, Jaw and Skeletal Development

Creating a wide palate is essential to your little one's healthy teeth.  A wide palate is also important for proper jaw development. Imbalances in the cranium involving the jaw, skull and vertebral bones are often the cause of crooked teeth.  The development of the palate is the primary factor that dictates the growth of such bones. If the mandible, also known as the lower jaw bone, is undergrown, it can lead to minimal forward growth in the lower and upper jaws along with a compromised jawline.  

An Obstruction of the Nasal Airway

Nasal breathing is important for the development of teeth and jaw.  If a youngster has a nasal obstruction or a chronically blocked sinus, a mouth-breathing habit can form that does not allow for the proper expansion of the jaw.  The bottom line is your little one needs unimpeded nasal airways in order for childhood facial development to occur.

Faulty Tongue Posture

Proper tongue posture requires the tongue to be on the palate.  The back and tip of the tongue should press upwards against the palate.  This positioning activates the muscles that link to the jaw, skull base, throat and spine.  A forward and low tongue posture is a sign your little one's tongue is not pressing against the palate in the proper manner.

Even the way in which your child smiles can impact the direction of tooth growth.  For example, the placement of the tongue between front teeth that are slightly apart is problematic for proper development.

Oral Behaviors

The sucking of one's thumb, a pacifier or other items is an indication of impaired oral development.  Pacifiers really do have the potential to force an open bite and cause teeth to be crooked. If your child has developed such a habit, do not panic!  There is still time to eliminate such oral habits and give the teeth a chance to grow in straight.

Reach out to your dentist to learn more about how to straighten crooked teeth and develop healthy oral health habits that help create a visually-pleasing smile.


The top cause of crooked teeth is completely out of your control.  If your parents, grandparents and/or siblings have crooked teeth, there is a good chance you will also have crooked teeth.  So do not feel so bad if your teeth are not growing in straight.

Request an appointment in our Palm Desert dentist office here: https://robertdaddiodds.com.

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