What Causes Crooked Teeth?

What Causes Crooked Teeth?
Posted on 07/30/2019
What Causes Crooked Teeth?

At Douglas Knight Orthodontics, our mission is to help patients throughout Tacoma, WA and the surrounding areas achieve straight teeth and a beautiful smile through orthodontic treatment. But while many of us know we need orthodontic treatment to fix crooked teeth, the root cause of the problem is often less obvious. Many of our patients wonder: what causes crooked teeth in the first place? As your dedicated Tacoma orthodontist, we strive to be a resource for both orthodontic treatment and education. So we'd like to shed a little light on the causes of crooked teeth.

Why Teeth Grow in Crooked

The simple answer for why teeth grow in crooked is genetics – but it actually goes even deeper than that. To find the root cause of most orthodontic problems, or malocclusions, we can blame nothing less than evolution itself.

Modern humans evolved from hominid species that needed to eat much tougher, harder foods, and they had larger, more powerful mouths to accomplish this. But as humans discovered the power of cooking food, natural selection acted to make our mouths smaller and less powerful. And herein lies the problem.

Most people grow 32 adult teeth. But the average person's mouth isn't actually big enough to accommodate all 32 of those teeth, and that's why the vast majority of people develop orthodontic problems in adolescence or adulthood. The problem becomes even more pronounced when the third molars (also called wisdom teeth) come in, around age 18-20 – almost no one has room in the dental arch to accommodate these teeth, which is why most people need to have them removed.

Contact Your Tacoma Orthodontist

When it comes to the causes of crooked teeth, the answer comes down to evolution. Our teeth, generally speaking, haven't caught up to the smaller mouths of anatomically modern humans, and that means most of us will develop a malocclusion of some sort. Thankfully, treating these malocclusions is easy, and we're proud to offer a wide range of orthodontic treatment options to help you achieve a straight, healthy smile now matter what your orthodontic condition. Want to achieve a new smile of your own? We'd love to help – schedule a consultation online today!