Protruding teeth can have long-term and expensive consequences. Permanent teeth affected by traumas, poor oral habits, and other predetermining genetic conditions can often face an increased risk of further injury and trauma compared to others with aligned teeth. For children, this presents an especially important concern that dentists need to consider when caring for their oral health. Protruding teeth, misaligned teeth, and teeth affected by trauma, however, can be treated. By getting treatment, damage to the teeth, gums, and tongue can be minimalized and reduce further risk of injury. But why do protruding teeth lead to higher risk? What can parents and adults do about protruding teeth to correct them?
All aspects of your oral health play a significant role in your overall health because protruding teeth are more than just aesthetics. Let’s explore what causes protruding teeth, what can precipitate traumatic injury, and what you can do to correct your malocclusion.
What Causes Protruding Teeth?
Most often, protruding teeth don’t have a direct impact. Many people can speak and normally eat without any real difficulties. However, even mild cases of malocclusion can even increase the risk of gum disease and dental cavities. This is often due to how malocclusions make it harder to brush and floss teeth properly, leading to larger deposits of bacteria along with the enamel of our teeth, which can eat away at the enamel and then infect the gums. However, certain habits developed through childhood can also highly contribute to the development of protruding teeth, including:
- Thumb Sucking: This habit is often the most reoccurring source of protruding teeth. Thumb sucking between the ages of 1-3 years is common and considered normal, but beyond those ages, children’s teeth and mouth palette are developing, and thumb sucking over long periods can impact their oral health, causing malocclusion.
- Tongue Thrusting: If jaw misalignments are present, tongue thrusting is a habit that often occurs due to poor swallowing habits and swollen tonsils. When the tongue presses along the back of the teeth over large periods, teeth misalignments often occur as a result.
- Overcrowding: It’s often considered perfectly normal for children to lose their baby teeth for their permanent adult teeth. However, the development of wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding, leading to malocclusions such as overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth.
- Genetics: Behavioral changes can often lead to better improvements to oral health, but sometimes, malocclusions occur due to genetic factors. When genetic factors are in play, orthodontic treatments can provide better sources of treatment for these issues.
Why Correcting Protruding Teeth Matters
Because correcting protruding teeth matters, especially for younger children during their pre-puberty years, children are often at more risk of traumatic dental injuries than adults. While adults also have similar risks predisposed to them due to participating in athletic sports, children under the age of six have a higher risk of experiencing dental trauma. According to Dental Traumatology, children under the age of six often experience dental trauma three times higher than those with aligned teeth, with protrusions over 5mm double the risk of developing dental trauma, unlike those with a 3mm malocclusion.
What causes this increase in dental trauma for children? Studies from Contemporary Clinical Dentistry concluded that the primary causes of childhood dental trauma result from these various factors:
- Falling During Play
- Bicycle Falls
- Medical Problems
- Falls From Bus
- Road Accidents
These factors often occur as a subset of causative reasons, and that many of these actions are often results as a part of either childhood development and social interaction or tragic accidents resulting from outside influences. The study also concludes that males are more likely to suffer from traumatic dental injuries than females and that most often, the tooth that received the most profound damage is the right maxillary central incisor tooth. However, many of the injuries resulting from these accidents often result in single tooth damage, often due to the vulnerability of its placement. Most often, the damage resulting from these accidents is mostly enamel damage without pulp damage, leading to the majority of these incidents being minor at best.
However, the long-term consequences of malocclusion and traumatic dental injury can still heavily affect that child’s life and the lives of their families. Eliminating these risks occurs best with orthodontic and dental treatment, which can include braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances. By correcting malocclusions, the risks of dental injuries can decrease and help keep their oral health safe from damage and decay.
For more information about the effects of malocclusion, protruding teeth, and dental treatments for these types of oral health issues, the best place to begin learning more about treatment options and costs starts with visiting your dentist. By visiting your dentist, you can receive comprehensive dental treatment for you and your family and have better oral health overall.